South Yorkshire police are continuing to investigate reports of an assault at Oakwell following the SkyBet League One match between Barnsley and Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
Barnsley Football Club confirmed that there had been an alleged incident and they were assisting the police with its enquiries.
The incident in the tunnel area is said to have involved Fleetwood manager Joey Barton and Reds’ head coach Daniel Stendel (pictured) and newspaper reports have suggested that the latter received facial injuries, including two broken teeth.
English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey admitted he was ‘stunned’ by the news, adding: “While everything is alleged, a very unseemly incident would appear to have taken place and it needs to be dealt with swiftly and properly.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek he went on: “As an off-the-field matter the tunnel is still in the domain of the referee, but we will work closely with everybody to ensure it’s not a case of who deals with the matter, but actually the matter is dealt with properly.
“It’s disappointing. It comes on the back of a number of challenges which have come to the surface for football to deal with. We need everybody who plays a part to lead by example.”
Sky Sports News featured footage of Barton attempting to leave the ground only for the car in which he was travelling to be stopped by police.
The Football Association is waiting for the referee’s report before mounting its own investigation.
Barton took over at Fleetwood in his first managerial job last summer, the day after an 18-month Football Association ban for betting had ended, and he has a history of controversy.
He served 77 days in prison for common assault and affray after an incident in Liverpool city centre in December 2007; three years earlier he was fined and had to pay £65,000 in damages for stubbing a cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy at Manchester City’s Christmas party; in the summer of 2005 he was fined after a confrontation with a teenage Everton fan at the team hotel in Bangkok during a pre-season tour; and in May, 2007, he was suspended by Manchester City after a training ground altercation which left Ousmane Dabo needing hospital treatment, an assault charge bringing him a four-month suspended jail sentence.
More recently he was given a £2,000 fine and a two-week touchline ban in January after criticising officials following Fleetwood’s defeat by Bristol Rovers.