McLeish shares why Aston Villa owner rebuffed Joey Barton deal

Joey Barton

Alex McLeish wanted to sign Joey Barton while at Aston Villa.

Former manager Alex McLeish says Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner rebuffed the opportunity to sign Joey Barton as he felt the midfielder would project a bad image on the club, Herald Scotland report.

McLeish was in charge at Villa for the 2011/12 season, joining the club from rivals Birmingham City.

The Scottish manager at the time officially had the lowest win percentage of any Villa manager in modern history, claiming just a 21.4% win percentage as the club narrowly escaped relegation.

But in McLeish’s defence, he had his hands tied behind his back in terms of finances and acquisitions as he recalls the time when he tried to sign Joey Barton only for Lerner to block his advances.

"I felt we needed someone like him at Villa, but Randy Lerner wasn't keen on the idea on bringing him in. He didn't think it would be a good image for the club,” The Scot told Herald Scotland.

“But everyone deserves a second chance I felt. But it didn't happen. He was always a tough opponent when we were playing teams like Newcastle and I admire what he's done in the game. I know him quite well, he's a good lad.”

Barton at the time caused plenty of controversy while at Queens Park Rangers, especially on the final day of the season where he was dismissed at Manchester City and subsequently received a 12-match ban.

But there is no denying the player’s talent and influence in midfield, and his role in Burnley’s promotion over the past 12 months is exactly the sort of leadership which was missing at Villa Park.

It was another decision to look back on and ponder for Lerner, and perhaps given the choice again he may take a different approach on the matter.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch