Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has expressed his desire to remain at Ibrox, despite manager Mark Warburton handing him a three-week ban. The ban comes as a result of an alleged altercation with teammate Andy Halliday after Rangers were embarrassed 5-1 by Celtic.
The former Burnley man, who won the club’s player of the season award last year before deciding to head to Scotland, took to Twitter to respond to questions on his future.
The 34-year-old drew much criticism for his performance in the Old Firm derby, and Rangers now sit four points behind Celtic, even after having played an extra game. Barton backed his side to turn things around, saying, “People far too quick to write (us) off. Celtic game was (Barton’s) first competitive loss since 28th December, 2015.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche was recently asked if he would bring Barton back to the Premier League should his relationship with Rangers deteriorate even further, but was quick to imply that such a move was not on the cards. “I can only give my opinion about my time with him and he was fantastic…but he’s gone on to pastures new.”
Dyche drew high praise from Barton in his new autobiography, No Nonsense, but his former boss doesn’t look likely to offer him an escape route if he has indeed played his last game for Rangers. His new book will make for a fascinating read, particularly for Newcastle fans, as Barton opens up on a number of topics from his time at the club. Barton talks astronomical wages and bonuses, his objection to Alan Pardew’s appointment as manager, his love for the club and an expletive-filled bust-up with Alan Shearer.
Barton’s suspension is a classic case of history repeating itself, as Newcastle banned him back in 2009 following that confrontation with Shearer. Barton, for better or worse, stayed on with the club as they worked their way through the Championship, before returning to the top flight with Newcastle in 2010. Though it remains to be seen if Rangers manager Mark Warburton will offer him a way back into the club.