RANGERS are poised to end Joey Barton’s six-week suspension – but only to get him ready for a January exit.
The midfielder emerged from a disciplinary meeting at Ibrox last night with his future still unresolved after a financial settlement could not be reached.
Barton was banned after a training-ground bust-up with midfielder Andy Halliday and manager Mark Warburton following the 5-1 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead last month.
It’s understood the Ibrox side have been unable to construct a case for instant dismissal and that the financial situation means paying up the remainder of his two-year deal – said to be worth just over £20,000-per-week – was never a viable option for the cash strapped club.
The 34-year-old player left yesterday’s 70-minute meeting with his suspension still in place and the likelihood he will never feature in the first team again.
However, he may be offered the chance to train with the Development Squad ahead of a parting of the ways in the next transfer window at the turn of the year.
Barton refused to make a comment on the outcome of the meeting.
When he signed for the club from Burnley in the summer, big-mouth Barton claimed he would prove himself to be the best player in Scotland and told everyone that Celtic captain Scott Brown wasn’t in the same league as him. In a strange sort of a way he has turned out to be correct as Barton now faces a period playing with the Rangers youngsters.
The former Burnley player failed to impress in any of his eight appearances and the supporters are hardly mounting a campaign to have him re-instated to the Rangers midfield.
Barton has also been charged by the SFA over allegations he placed 44 bets on games between July 1 and September 15 this year – in contravention of their rules.
However former Rangers midfielder Ian Black has previously been found guilty of betting offences, including remarkably betting against his own side, and this did not result in his contract being terminated.
Rangers leniency in the Black case seems to have reduced their own options regarding Barton’s removal from the Ibrox pay-roll where he is among the top earners.
What is clear is that the day Barton signed has turned onto a Black day for Rangers.