The president of Bristol Rovers, Wael al-Qadi has had to issue a lengthy statement to apologize for the club’s initial reaction to the assault scandal of the club’s manager, Joey Barton.
Joey Barton is undergoing trial for allegedly assaulting his wife, Georgia by beating. When he appeared before a magistrates court on Monday, the former English football star denied the allegation against him.
Shortly after, Bristol Rovers released a statement to show support for their football manager. However, a part of the statement which described the assault charge leveled against Joey Barton as a “victimless crime” did not go down well with some charity organizations in England.
One of the charity organizations that has been at the forefront of the agitation against the club is the domestic abuse charity Refuge. The organization said the club’s statement on Monday was unhelpful.
In reaction to the agitation against the club, the club’s president, Wael Al-Qadi said the club stands firmly against domestic violence. He stressed that any member of the club that is found guilty of the crime would be dismissed.
He also stressed that the club is following the rules of the United Kingdom which states that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
The letter of the club’s president read: “The past four days have been tough for us all and I have seen first-hand that there is a division within the fanbase which is not what we want heading into a new season.
“Firstly, I think it is really important to confirm that as a club we stand firmly against any form of violence.
“Any individual that is found guilty of any such offenses will be dismissed immediately.
“I understand the concerns expressed by a number of you.
“However, in line with the basic principles of British law, it is my view that you are innocent until proven guilty.
“Given that this is a legal matter, what we can and can’t say as a club is heavily restricted.
“That said, I think it is important that some context is given to the comment regarding victimless crimes as I know that has caused some distress.
“The phrase is a legal term referring to cases in which the victim is either unknown or has not made a complaint/engaged with the police inquiries.
“We in no way meant to belittle charges of domestic abuse.
“I know that this may have been misinterpreted in the statement last night and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone that was offended.”
Joey Barton and his assault scandal
Joey Barton has made his first appearance in court and has denied being guilty of the assault by beating.
After the court hearing, the court granted Barton unconditional bail. His trial will continue at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 16 December, but legal proceedings remain active.
His wife, Georgia, has posted on Instagram that Joey Barton is not a violent person. She insisted that her husband did not assault her as reports claimed.