The Scottish Football Association hand Joey Barton a one-match ban after breaking gambling laws between July and September. Barton is currently unemployed after Rangers let him go.
I was walking down the book aisle in Asda, searching for the Highway Code when I spotted a kid asking his Dad if he could have Joey Barton’s autobiography for Christmas.
The kid’s father thrust a copy of From Nowhere by Jamie Vardy under his snotty nose – “Why don’t you get this one instead?”
“But that’s so boring,” said the kid.
And that’s one allegation you cannot levy at Barton. He certainly isn’t boring. And I would buy the book. I am sure it’s a great read. But I would never sign him to play for my football team if I was a manager.
On Thursday, Barton left a disciplinary hearing at Hampden Park after being served with a one-match ban for breaking the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) gambling laws.
The investigation revealed that Barton had placed 44 bets on football matches between 1 July and 15 September, a rule breach that somehow came to light after he had made a bet during Celtic’s Champions League drubbing at the hands of Barcelona.
As a punishment, the SFA gave Barton a one-match ban. It was hardly a deterrent for any young footballer considering a 10-way acca on the weekend’s football coupons.
Barton eats one-match bans for breakfast.
In 2004, Man City gave him a two-week ban when he decided to use his team mate, Jamie Tandy’s eye, as an ashtray during a Christmas party.
In 2007, The FA handed him a 12-match ban after a training ground fight with Ousmane Dabo.
In 2008, he was jailed for six months after an incident in Liverpool city centre.
In 2010, he was banned for three games for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen when playing for Newcastle.
In 2012, He was banned for 12-matches for violent conduct when playing against Man City.
And I didn’t mention his yellow and red cards.
Ironically, his gambling misdemeanour came to light when he was serving a three-week suspension by Rangers after a training ground kerfuffle with half of the side resulted in the training ground dog being fed his contract.
I’d like to thank the supporters of Rangers for their incredible support during my time at the club. Wish you all the best for the future.
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) November 10, 2016
How Does The Barton Ban Stack Up?
Barton isn’t the only player to fall foul of the SFA rules on gambling, but he does seem to have received the most lenient of punishments.
The first player in Scottish football to get a ban was former Inverness, Hearts, and Rangers player Ian Black. The SFA handed him a 10-match ban and fined him £7,500 after admitting gambling on 160 matches spread over a seven-year period, including betting against his own side.
In May Steven Lawless was given a six-match ban after betting on 513 games. And Dunfermline striker, Michael Moffat, received a four-game ban in 2014 for similar offences.
Where Next For Barton?
History shows that there is a bit of devil in the games greatest players. Managers put up with the demons because of the ability to turn a game with a moment of magic.
Barton’s skills as a footballer are mediocre at best. There are so many players who can do the job that Barton does without head butting, gouging and hacking.
I don’t get it; I really don’t?
Coral has Derby as the 3/1 favourite to sign the bad boy. Aston Villa is 4/1 second-favourites, although Steve Bruce has said Barton is not for him. A return to Premier League outfit Burnley is a 6/1 shot with Sean Dyche admitting that he would welcome him back to the club if he needed somewhere to train.
I need to read this man’s book to find out what his secret is.