Barton says 'sorry' after Gers bust-up
Joey Barton has apologised 'unreservedly' after being banished from Rangers' training ground following an internal dispute.
The midfielder's future with the Glasgow club was left in doubt after he was sent home on Tuesday following what is understood to have been an altercation with team-mate Andy Halliday.
Barton was told not to return until Monday and the 34-year-old will miss tomorrow's Ladbrokes Premiership contest with Ross County at Ibrox.
The incident occurred days after Rangers suffered a 5-1 derby defeat by Celtic to leave them four points adrift of the champions, who have a game in hand.
In a statement posted on Twitter late last night, Barton said he was sorry for making inappropriate comments but insisted he only did so because he cares about performing for the club.
He then tweeted: "Apologising doesn't always mean that you're wrong and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your ego".
Moments later those comments were deleted.
His statement read: "Obviously after (the) Old Firm game on Saturday everybody was hurting and in training on Tuesday there was a full and frank discussion about the result and reasons for our loss".
It continued: “I, like everyone else, care deeply about the task at hand, which is to restore Rangers Football Club to the top of Scottish football.
“The discussion we had involved some sharp disagreement about the game and some harsh words were said. There were only words involved in the disagreement, nothing else. Nevertheless, some of the words used did overstep the mark.
“As someone who communicates directly, I accept that some of the things I said were inappropriate and for that I apologise unreservedly. I cannot, however, apologise for caring deeply about winning and for wanting to perform better myself and for wanting Rangers to do much better.
“The manager (Mark Warburton) felt that my words were inappropriate and asked me to take some time out to reflect on what was said. He judged that it was best if I didn’t report for training again until Monday.
“Whilst I don’t feel that this was necessary I fully respect the manager’s decision. I regret what happened and on Monday I will report for training and I will do what it takes to help the team draw a line under it so that we can get back to the task at hand.
“I want Rangers to win. This is all I care about and my overriding intention is to give my all, every day, in order to help Rangers do that. I hope this message clarifies the situation and puts to bed all the other speculation and nonsense. Rangers needs to get back to winning football matches. This is the most important thing for me now”.
Whether or not Barton plays a major role in that aim going forward is open to debate.
Barton has been disappointing for Rangers and was awful in their 5-1 defeat at Celtic on Saturday.
At yesterday afternoon’s press conference Ibrox boss Warburton said nothing about Barton’s situation but did hit out at the Scottish media for what he saw as ‘negative’ reporting following the Old Firm derby at the weekend.
He said: “The whole media aspect up here is so negative. I’m an Englishman working in Scotland and I find it depressing.”