Joey Barton under investigation for betting on Celtic match

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Football News

Joey Barton is back in the news again after the Gambling Commission opened an investigation into claims that he placed money on the result a recent match.

The Scottish Football Association strictly forbids players, coaches, club officials and referees from betting on any match anywhere in world football. The BBC and the Guardian have both reported the story although no official word from the SFA has been released.

It is another significant setback for the 34-year-old, who was recently suspended by Rangers for three weeks following a training ground altercation with manager Mark Warburton and several senior players.

Barton is alleged to have shared a heated exchange of words in the wake of their humiliating 5-1 defeat to Celtic over the weekend. A number of pundits believe he will never play for the club again.

He now faces a potential ban from the SFA if found guilty of breaching betting rules although previous punishments dished out by the governing body suggests a reprimand is more likely.

Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen was banned for one game after being found to have betted on 55 games while another Rangers player,  Ian Black, was handed a three-game suspension for betting on 140 matches, several of which he played in.

The bet

Barton is only under investigation for betting on one match but it is likely to cause plenty of controversy, not least because he is already the most talked about character north of the border.

He is accused of betting in Celtic's recent Champions League encounter against Barcelona, in which Brendan Rodgers' men suffered a heavy 7-0 loss. A bookmaker raised the alarm to the Gambling Commission that a bet for Celtic to lose by three or more goals had been placed on Barton's account.

The bet holds wider repercussions as it could have been placed to aggravate an already bitter rivalry between his club and theirs. It is for that reason why it has been suggested that the midfielder planned for his breach of the rules to become public ahead of the following weekend's Old Firm derby.

There is no suggestion that Barton was attached to match-fixing or that any attempt to influence the result in any way was made. However, the investigation is being taken seriously and it will be up to compliance officer Tony McGlennan to decide if any action should be taken.

The investigation is set to last three weeks, as long as his current suspension from Rangers.

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