Speaking as a Rangers player for first time, Joey Barton has revealed that the opportunity to head north and join Mark Warburton's side was one he had to take or he would regret it for the rest of his life. In an interview with RangersTV Barton spoke about a wide variety of topics including his new teammates, the prospect of living in Glasgow, his respect for the club and support and the reason he snubbed a Premier League contract at Burnley.
Admitting that he would regret not following a number of other English players in crossing the border to join Rangers Barton said: I first found out there might be an opportunity to come up here it got the blood pumping a bit and you think what this could be, what it already is, and I'm fully aware of the club's situation in the last few years but to be part of a group that is going to put this club back where it belongs is an opportunity that I've I didn't take I'd regret it for the rest of my life."
"I came up and had a look and was instantly impressed with what's going on at the club and the history and tradition of the place. I was fortunate enough that I had the best tour guide in Rangers' history, a Hall of Fame member, in Davie Weir who showed me round the ground, took me into the trophy room, I saw the portrait of Bill Struth at the bottom, and just being part of everything this club has achieved in the past and the opportunity to be part of writing new history. The gaffer and player here have made incredible progress in the last 12 months. I was mindful the club had a huge game at the weekend and I didn't want to distract from that. I knew instantly I wanted to come here. Once I seen what this club about I knew it fit perfectly with what I wanted to do. It offers me a incredible challenge and an incredible opportunity."
When quizzed on the living in Glasgow, especially given his controversial past the former England international was relaxed about the pressure and expectation of being a Rangers player saying: "I haven't lived here so I haven't experienced it but I'm fully aware of the intensity level (of living in Glasgow) but I'm from a place in Liverpool, which is a football city, and I've lived in a number of cities up and down the country and been abroad and lived in a quite intense environment from a football perspective but I don't think that's something that I, or someone like me, someone who's lived the kind of life and the kind of journey I've lived in the last thirty-odd years football is the really enjoyable part".
Barton also revealed he was familiar with his new teammates as he is "obsessed" with football. I'm a football man, someone who's completely and utterly obsessed with football all over the world. "I watch football constantly so obviously I've watched games. I watched Saturday's with a keen eye because I knew in my mind I'd made a decision and I wanted to be part of this great football club and I'll get to see a lot more of them on the training pitch. You can only see so much of them on match-day but you learn a lot about your teammates on a daily basis, judging off their daily habits and how they conduct themselves, and I always think a team is a really good barometer of what they do on a daily basis. There's positive things going on here and you can see that the way the team carries itself, the performances and results they've had so far".
There was also a word for the fans following the phenomenal response on social media to reports of Barton's signing: "The level of support and fan interaction has been incredible. Even from Burnley the fan have been incredibly positive about my transition from one club to another and you'd like to think they really appreciate the job you done there. Ive been fortunate in my career that every club I've left with a real positive feeling and a belief that the fans appreciate the job I did there. Obviously I've got to do that now at Rangers. I've received an incredible amount of support and I haven't done anything yet. I'm incredibly humbled by the way the fans have reached out to me in the last week. I feel like I already owe them but I can't wait to get out in-front of them and show them what I'm about as a player. It's an incredibly exciting time in my life personally and professionally. Roll on next season".
Take our quiz and see if you can tell the difference between quotes from Joey Barton and German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: Who said it - Joey Barton or Friedrich Nietzsche?