Joey Barton was expected to be sacked by Rangers this morning following his failure to abide by the club’s instructions to lie low following his dressing room outburst last week.
The English midfielder, who earns a reported £20,000-a-week at Ibrox, conducted a controversial interview with talkSPORT in which he refused to apologise to manager Mark Warburton.
"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."
This non-apology came after Barton had publicly apologised for his behaviour in the aftermath of the Gers’ 5-1 defeat to Celtic on social media.
The 34-year-old released a lengthy statement on Twitter but then caused confusion by 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.”
Barton filmed leaving Ibrox
His interview with talkSPORT effectively confirmed that he wasn’t sorry and, as a result, he was expected to have his contract terminated this morning.
Barton met with Warburton and members of the Rangers board in the past couple of hours and was then filmed by Sky Sports leaving the ground.
Asked if he was still a Rangers player, he replied: “I think so”.
However, he didn’t sound 100 per cent certain.
That Barton wasn’t training with the rest of the Rangers squad this morning and left Ibrox shortly after the meeting suggests this isn’t the last we hear on the issue.
Update: Barton suspended for three weeks
Rangers have now confirmed that Barton has been suspended for three weeks.
“Joey Barton has today been suspended by the club and will not return to Ibrox or Auchenhowie for a period of three weeks,” the statement reads.
“The manager, Mark Warburton, and club believe that time and space is required for both the club and the player to assess all that has happened.
“Neither party will make any further statement or comment on this issue.”
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