Joey Barton has a book, “No Nonsense” is the title, coming out this week. Let’s just start with that.
Right now though, there’s plenty more on the mind of the Glasgow Rangers midfielder.
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Less than 24 hours after being suspended for three weeks by Glasgow Rangers for a training ground bust-up with a teammate, it has been alleged that Barton is being investigated by the Gambling Commission for breaking betting rules.
It is alleged by the Daily Record newspaper in Scotland that Barton, 34, had bet on a game involving Glasgow Celtic and Barcelona. It is claimed he bet on Celtic to lose heavily at Barca, just days after Rangers lost 5-1 to their fierce Old Firm rivals in their first derby since returning to Scotland’s top-flight.
That defeat sparked a training ground bust-up between Barton and Andy Halliday a few days later, which has since seen him suspended by manager Mark Warburton with Barton reportedly refusing to apologize to his manager on Monday for the incident. These latest allegations seem to suggest his time at Rangers could well be over after just two months playing at Ibrox.
If found guilty, Barton could be looking at a two or three game suspension from the Scottish FA who are yet to comment on the matter but they’ve had a hard line approach to any player caught betting on any game in the world. That is prohibited under SFA rules.
Another interesting piece of news involving Barton and Celtic has also arisen on Tuesday with an interview he gave with the Guardian in which he suggests he’s made a mistake in signing for Rangers and not staying with Burnley and he also supports his claim in his new book that Celtic tried to hijack his move to Rangers this summer.
Well, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has cleared up any confusion about the Hoops trying to sign Barton when talking to STV.
“I think Joey’s been had by a bit of a matchmaker here. I remember it well, we had just announced Brendan as our new manager and I was with our Company Secretary in London at the time. An agent called me saying that Joey was going to sign for Rangers but he would really prefer to come to Celtic and were we interested in signing him, but it wasn’t something we wanted to pursue. These things happen to players sometimes in football, but needless to say we wish Joey well at his new club.”
Grab some popcorn.
The next few days in Glasgow will be interesting to see how this shambolic Barton situation continues to unravel.