City to defend Barton against any FA charge

February 12, 2007

Manchester City insist midfielder Joey Barton 'made no offensive gesture' during the club's 2-1 defeat against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Barton was involved in controversy during the game when his challenge on Pedro Mendes saw the Pompey player carried off.

But City insist there was no gesture towards fans by Barton at the end of the match.

City spokesman Paul Tyrrell, in a statement released to the Manchester Evening News, said: 'Manchester City have not received any complaint regarding Joey Barton's behaviour.

'If we get one it will be robustly defended by the club as our own officials were close to the player as he went to thank our fans for their support. He made no offensive gesture.'

Hampshire Police earlier said they plan to inform the Football Association of an alleged incident involving a City player at the end of the Portsmouth clash but stressed they are not launching an investigation.