Rangers midfielder Joey Barton is not having a good first year in Scotland.
Barton was suspended for three weeks after a training ground dust-up, and was on the verge of returning to the Rangers fold.
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We say “was” because the Scottish Football Association has charged Barton with 44 counts of betting on soccer. He has a week to respond to the charge, and then will have a hearing on Oct. 27.
Allegations of betting came out late last month, and now he’s formally been charged.
“He bet on Celtic to lose by three goals or more against Barcelona, which was a breach of the SFA’s no-tolerance rules, and now the allegation of 44 bets on games since he arrived at Rangers.
Barton had claimed he’d come to Scotland to be the best player in the league, but he’s been a cause of turmoil, not greatness, at the Ibrox Stadium.
Recently-promoted Rangers sit in the Scottish Premiership’s fifth place, and leaders Celtic have a 7-point lead with one match-in-hand. Cutting ties with Barton might be worth more than whatever on-field advantage he might give the club one day.