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Joey Barton Apologizes 'If Anybody Was Offended' by Bristol Rovers' Holocaust Analogy

Joey Barton, a former midfielder for England and Manchester City and the current manager of Bristol Rovers, apologized Thursday "if anybody was offended" for his decision to compare his team's recent performance against Newport County to "a holocaust."

"I'm just going to say there were some comments made after the press conference last week where clearly no offense was meant, but some people have rightly pointed out to me the use of the analogy was not correct," Barton said at a press conference. "The FA wrote to me this week to remind us of our language and communications, and the last thing you want to do is cause offense or upset anybody.

"So if anybody was offended by that, I would like to apologize for that and I think the FA were right to write to me and remind me of that."

Barton's League Two squad lost 3—1 Saturday to Newport County. He said afterward of his Rovers' defense, "The team's almost like musical chairs. Someone gets in and does well but then gets suspended or injured. Someone gets in for a game, does well but then has a holocaust, a nightmare, an absolute disaster."

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Barton received backlash for his comments, including from Bristol councillor Fabian Breckels, an associate member of the Jewish Labour Movement, who suggested the team “ought to provide a considered response fairly soon."

Barton played more than a dozen seasons in England's top league. He was appointed as the Rovers' manager last February after managing League One club Fleetwood Town. 

Rovers is currently in 18th place in the League Two table.

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