Clarets' red faces as duo belatedly receive medals

Burnley's Joey Barton pointedly celebrates with a blow-up trophy on Monday, after a shortfall of two Championship winners' medals meant that he and James Tarkowski missed out. The club apologised for the error and the players were finally given their
Burnley's Joey Barton pointedly celebrates with a blow-up trophy on Monday, after a shortfall of two Championship winners' medals meant that he and James Tarkowski missed out. The club apologised for the error and the players were finally given their medals yesterday. PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • A day after Burnley midfielder Joey Barton and defender James Tarkowski missed out on their English Championship winners' medals, the club finally sorted out the embarrassing mix-up.

The Clarets celebrated their title in front of thousands of their supporters on Monday, but the duo did not get medals because there were not enough to go around.

The Lancashire club were confirmed champions on Saturday when they beat Charlton Athletic at The Valley but were forced to wait for the trophy following the Football League's controversial move not to present it at an away ground.

Barton, the former Manchester City and Newcastle player, had been among those to criticise the decision and a representative from the Football League was jeered by Burnley supporters who had gathered to see Sean Dyche's squad's promotion party in the east Lancashire town.

However, after 25 members of Burnley's squad had received their medals ahead of the ceremony, Tarkowski and Barton were left empty-handed as there were no more medals.

BOO-BOO NOT A BIG DEAL

It was only banter, as if I'd refuse a Championship- winning medal! The ribbon wouldn't fit over my ears so waiting for one with more give!

JAMES TARKOWSKI, Burnley defender, playing down the controversy in a tweet.

"Burnley Football Club would like to apologise for the mix-up during the medal ceremony," said a statement on the club's official website. "The Football League advised the club that 25 medals were to be presented, but the club put forward 27 players.

"We would like to apologise to the league for this administrative error. We would like to clarify that all players will receive medals from the Football League."

Barton, who had been instrumental in Burnley's promotion to the Premier League and was voted the club's player of the year, did not lift the trophy when it was passed around, instead taking an inflatable version from the crowd.

Both Barton and Tarkowski later played down the incident on Twitter, though.

Tarkowski wrote: "It was only banter, as if I'd refuse a Championship-winning medal! The ribbon wouldn't fit over my ears so waiting for one with more give!"

Dyche's team arrived for a civic reception and having finally been presented with the trophy, they embarked on an open-top bus tour to Turf Moor, a trip that Barton said he famously would not make if they finished second as they had done two years earlier.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE-FRANCE PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'Clarets' red faces as duo belatedly receive medals'. Print Edition | Subscribe