I only saw Joey Barton after the tunnel incident - Stendel tells court
The ex-Barnsley boss revealed to a jury that the only one he saw when being shoved into a metal post in the tunnel following a match in the League One, with his face injured, was rival manager Joey Barton.
provided evidence in former England international
’s trial, accusing him of assaulting him when the clash betweenBarnsley
ended on April 13, 2019.
Stendel was coaching Barnsley at the time, with the match coming to a 4-2 win for his side, and Barton was managing Fleetwood Town back then.
He described the attack on Monday at Sheffield Crown Court, saying that he was walking down the tunnel towards the dressing rooms when he was pushed from behind.
"I got a hard shove on my right shoulder.
"Because I hadn't expected it, I couldn't react very quickly.
"I then fell forward, without being able to protect myself, into the metal bars in the tunnel."
When quizzed how hard he was pushed, Mr. Stendel told the jury of seven women and five men:
"I'm quite tall and quite sporty. So, it was more than a normal push.
"It was a forceful shove, otherwise [I] wouldn't have fallen over"
"I couldn't stay on my feet."
When asked about what happened after the injury, Mr. Stendel said
: "I felt the pain and I briefly looked up. I thought that someone would actually help me.
"I lifted my head and I just saw one person and it was Joey Barton, who walked around the corner.
"That was the only person that I saw."
Quizzed by Simon Csoka QC, defending, if he had "just assumed that it was Mr. Barton" given the tensions in the game before, Mr. Stendel said: "I can only say that I was pushed extremely.
"And directly after that happened I saw Joey Barton. These are the two things I can say."
Stendel also talked about an incident that happened in their previous game, at Fleetwood, in September 2018.
He revealed that Barton was intimidating towards him when the game ended, with Barnsley winning the game, and how his hand was squashed during the post-match handshake.
The coach said
: "The usual handshake was more of a squash-my-hand than shake hands."
He said that was "very unusual" and "it had never happened to me before".
Stendel was surprised to see the normal atmosphere when they met again in 2019, despite what happened a few months back. Barnsley met the back of the net many times during the game and when asked whether the duo had any contact in the second half, he said:
"After the goal, he came to our bench and had a go at me saying I shouldn't celebrate the goals like that."
"He was annoyed and aggressive."
"I just said I was pleased about our goal. I wasn't against him or his team."
He revealed that the duo were in contact after the final whistle:
"In the second half the atmosphere had got a bit tense.
"I didn't really know if there was going to be a shake-hands. We approached each other and I went to give him my hand shake.
"He was very annoyed and aggressive. As far as I could understand, he was swearing at me."
Stendel said he tried to reason with Barton but "he continued swearing at me".
There was video footage of Stendel leaving the field following the game and walking into the tunnel.
It was clear that Barton ran into the tunnel shortly after and another camera showed Stendel being carried into the dressing rooms with a bloody face.
He suffered a teeth injury as well as bruising in his arm, hand and knee.
The jury was told that Barton had a statement for the polis after his arrest in which he owned up to using "industrial language" on the touchline but denied assaulting Stendel in the tunnel.
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