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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

City demand answers over Barton accusations

Manchester City have written to Hampshire police asking for an explanation about allegations that midfielder Joey Barton made offensive gestures to Portsmouth fans at Fratton Park at the weekend.

City are angry that the police claimed an officer at Saturday`s match witnessed an incident involving a City player and that details would be passed onto the Football Association.

City director of communications Paul Tyrrell said: 'An unnamed officer purported to have seen something that clearly did not happen.

'We have written to the police asking for an explanation. We hope to get a swift response because we are sure they do not want to put any more time and effort into an investigation that, quite frankly, is going nowhere.'

City believe Barton has been a victim of reputation and manager Stuart Pearce has warned against a 'witch-hunt' against his England star.

City have also asked the FA to drop inquiries into the matter.

'We would like to think the FA will expedite this so we can put the matter to bed,' added Tyrrell.

'We have spoken to the FA because there is clearly no evidence of Joey conducting himself in anything other than the right and professional way.'