Joey Barton under investigation for alleged football betting

The Rangers midfielder was banned from the club on Monday for three weeks

Rangers’ Joey Barton reacts during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA

Rangers’ Joey Barton reacts during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA

 

Joey Barton is under investigation for allegedly breaking football betting rules, according to reports.

The controversial Rangers midfielder was banned from the club on Monday for three weeks after a training ground altercation following the 5-1 defeat to Celtic.

The Scottish Football Association and the Gambling Commission are looking into claims that the 34-year-old bet on Celtic to suffer a heavy defeat to Barcelona last Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers’ side lost 7-0 in their Champions League Group C opener in the Nou Camp.

The SFA has a strict no-betting policy on football games and if found guilty Barton could face a ban.

Barton is unlikely to face a major punishment if the alleged gambling was restricted to one incident.

Two former Rangers players are among those to have been punished for breaching the SFA’s blanket ban on football betting.

Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen missed one game after betting on 55 matches and Ian Black earlier served a three-match suspension for gambling on 140 matches, including several he played in. The former Hearts midfielder scored in a 4-2 victory over East Stirlingshire after predicting his team would draw in an accumulator.

But a potential SFA charge will leave Barton even more vulnerable after his club suspension cast major doubt on whether he would play for Rangers again.

Barton was told to stay away for a further three weeks after talks with Mark Warburton and board members on Monday failed to resolve the situation which had seen the 34-year-old informally banished from the club for the previous five days following a training-ground row.

The former England cap has been told not to speak to the media after further angering Warburton by giving a radio interview last Friday when he claimed the manager’s decision to send him home had been “strange”.

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