It appears that Joey Barton’s spell with Rangers could be over.
The English midfielder only arrived at Ibrox in the summer but, following his reaction to the team’s humiliating 5-1 defeat to fierce rivals Celtic last weekend, it’s all gone horribly wrong for the 34-year-old.
Barton was barred from training until Monday following a heated argument with his own teammates and manager Mark Warburton.
Article continues below
A source told the Mirror last week: “Barton told some home truths and not all of the boys reacted well. One of them pointed out to Joey that they hardly lost a game last season and had been doing fine without him.
“Barton responded by saying they were 'playing against s*** teams in a s*** league’.”
Article continues below
“It was all getting very heated but when Warburton tried to calm it down Barton went head-to-head with him too,” the source added.
"He left the manager with very little choice and it’s difficult to see how he can come back from this now.
“Barton has not been seen at the training ground since and has been told to stay well clear until Monday morning when he’ll discover his fate.”
Barton apologised - then backtracked
Shortly after reports emerged that Barton, one of English football’s most controversial figures, had been barred from the club’s training ground, he published a lengthy post via Twitter, apologising for his actions.
However, he then caused some confusion by immediately tweeting: “Apologising doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right.
“It means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
So was it an apology or not?
Barton's follow-up interview with talkSPORT
Barton then refused to apologise to Warburton in a radio interview with talkSPORT.
"I don't believe I've done anything to apologise for,” he said. “It's the tone of language I've used (that was the problem). Maybe I don't communicate like somebody who has been educated at Eton, but that's not me, I'm from Liverpool."
Barton set to be sacked on Monday?
However, his decision to broadcast his views on national radio is likely to see Barton’s £20,000-a-week contract terminated by Rangers.
According to the Sunday Times, Barton has ignored the Scottish club’s instructions to lie low following his dressing room outburst.
Barton will now have a meeting with Warburton on Monday and it will come as no surprise if he finishes the day as a free agent.
Should Rangers sack Joey Barton after his radio interview? Have your say by leaving a comment below.