Joey Barton rejects Rangers ‘flop’ assessment and reignites war of words with Mark Warburton by making ‘55’ title claim

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The Bristol Rovers manager endured a ill-fated short spell at Ibrox and he’s mapped out a way of silencing his Glasgow critics.

Joey Barton has launched a scathing attack of former club Rangers by insisting the club would have won their 55th Scottish Premiership title long before Steven Gerrard arrived if he had been kept on over then-boss Mark Warburton at the time.

The no-nonsense former Manchester City, Burnley and QPR midfielder admits a return to Scotland later in his managerial career would help to silence his fierce critics from either half of the Old Firm after stating he is fed up of reading stories about him being branded as an Ibrox ‘flop’.

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The current Bristol Rovers manager left Rangers in 2016 following a dramatic fall-out with Warburton. His contract was terminated by just five months into a two-year deal after he was also involved in a training ground altercation with team-mate Andy Halliday.

Joey Barton is keen to prove himself in Scotland after his failed time at Rangers. Picture: SNSJoey Barton is keen to prove himself in Scotland after his failed time at Rangers. Picture: SNS
Joey Barton is keen to prove himself in Scotland after his failed time at Rangers. Picture: SNS

To this day, Barton is widely remembered as a failure after his short spell but he is eager to prove everybody wrong and reckons taking charge of Edinburgh duo Hearts and Hibernian or Aberdeen would help to shut up his harshest critics.

Speaking to The Sun, Barton said: “Every time I read a Scottish paper it’s a case of ‘Flop Barton’. It’s the only blot on my copybook as a player. Maybe there’s only one thing for it and that means I’ll have to go back to Scotland and take charge of Hibs, Aberdeen or Hearts - and ram it down the Old Firm’s throats.”

He continued: “You know what you’ve done and I don’t need anyone to tell me that I was a brilliant player. I know better than anyone else what I contributed when I pulled the shirt on and that’s all that matters to me. If the papers or the propaganda that clubs put out is favourable to you, then you see there is a good rapport when you go back. The only exception is with Rangers,

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“My time at Ibrox is the only black mark I’ve got in my copybook as a player. I can’t count myself successful as a Rangers player because I fell out with the manager there and wasn’t allowed enough time to prove myself.

“But look at what’s happened to Mark Warburton since we went our separate ways. It’s been a case of sacked, sacked, sacked. Now he’s a first-team coach at West Ham and look what’s happened to David Moyes since he arrived.

“If the powers-that-be would have got rid of Warburton and stuck by me, they would have won their 55th title a lot sooner than they did under Steven Gerrard. But Rangers made a bed for themselves with Warburton and they had to lie in it.”

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