Glasgow Rangers' midfielder Joey Barton has been charged by the Scottish Football Association with breaking rules with regard to gambling on football matches.
It is not the first time the controversial football star has been in the headlines recently. His name featured heavily in the sports media when he was suspended by Rangers boss Mark Warburton for making unsavory remarks in relation to his team mates' prior accomplishments.
The bust-up between Barton and team mate Andy Halliday happened following Rangers' 5-1 defeat to Celtic in the old firm derby.
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Barton was handed a three-week suspension by Rangers following a meeting held at the club between him and his coach Warburton.
The suspension was due to end on Monday, but in light of these new charges it is unclear what the future will hold for the midfielder.
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The charges relate to an accusation made by the Scottish Football Association that Barton placed 44 bets between July 1 and September 15 of this year.
One of the bets allegedly placed was on Celtic to lose by three goals or more to Barcelona.
Barton has been given until October 12 to respond to the charge, with a hearing date set for October 27.
It is a breach of the SFA disciplinary rule 33 that Barton is being charged with. Rule 33 prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world.
Glasgow Rangers brought Barton to Ibrox with the hopes of him achieving great success at the club, both on a personal level, and with the club as a whole.
The 34-year-old joined Rangers this year on a free transfer after he turned down a new deal with Burnley. He signed a two-year contract with the club, and came with the intention of becoming the best player in Scotland.
So far, however, Barton's move north of the border has been plagued with controversy, and this latest incident could well see Barton having to serve a ban should he be found guilty of the offence with which he is charged.
Previous examples of bans given to players by the SFA do show a hint of leniency. Partick Thistle midfielder Steven Lawless was given a six-match ban, with four of those suspended until the end of this season, after being accused of placing bets on 513 matches.
While Dunfermline striker Michael Moffat served a four-game ban in 2014 while at Ayr United, after he was found guilty of placing seven bets on six matches involving his own team, as well as a number of other bets.
The above statistics may well provide Barton with some respite, as you might say that these punishments are a little on the light side, especially in the case of Michael Moffat, who placed wagers on his own side.
Will Joey Barton play another game for Rangers? Let us know in the comments section below!
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