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Is it all over for Barton?

Rangers v Hamilton: Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Well, today was supposed to be the day Joey Barton returned to Auchenhowie to discover the fate of his Rangers career however, after yesterday’s one-week extension to his ban, that’s now been delayed and it looks harder and harder to see a way back for the one-time England midfielder.

Almost four weeks on from his reported bust-up with Andy Halliday and Mark Warburton, Barton has only been spotted in Glasgow once and as part of the ongoing “formal disciplinary process’’ we was expected to have a showdown meeting with the club today. Sources within the club believe Barton’s time at the club is over and it’s now a matter of finding a way to end the player’s contract.

Despite this, people close to the player are bullish over his Ibrox future and insist he wants to stay and fight for his place in Warburton’s side. Barton has recently returned from a 10-day ‘bootcamp’ at the Aspire Academy in Qatar in a bid to boost his fitness ahead of his return to Glasgow and show he wants to be a part of Rangers’ return to the top-flight.

If Barton’s time in Glasgow is up then one stumbling block to a speedy resolution could be the reported £20k wages apparently pocketed by the ex-Manchester City midfielder every week. That leaves Rangers nearly £1.5m out of pocket to cover the remaining 18 months on Barton’s deal in full and it’s believed he isn’t all that interested in negotiating a settlement to leave.

There has also been suggestions that the club could sack Barton (and avoid any payout) but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. Before yesterday’s news his ban had been extended it was widely believed Barton would be given a second chance. Whilst Barton has been charged by the Scottish FA in relation to 44 bets on football, he has until Wednesday to respond and his hearing isn’t planned until October 27th so that looks like it will drag on.

Interestingly, fans are split over whether Barton should remain at Ibrox...

Whatever happens, it doesn’t appear there will be a speedy resolution to this farce. The quicker it’s all resolved then we can all get back to focusing on the important stuff, like how good Josh Windass is.

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