Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Rangers

Joey Barton: Rangers' history and tradition completely blew me away

By Andy Newport

Joey Barton admits he was seduced by the notion of playing for Rangers after knocking back the Premier League's millions.

The 33-year-old could have stayed on with Burnley after helping Sean Dyche's men to the Championship title but has instead penned a two-year deal with the Gers. The midfielder has foregone a lucrative 12-month deal with the Clarets, but Barton insists it is the history of the Ibrox side and the lure of challenging for trophies which persuaded him north.

And he has promised to help deliver more silverware to the club's famous trophy room as Mark Warburton's men gear up for their Premiership return.

He said: "I came up here a week ago and I was just blown away by the history and tradition in the stadium. That is really seductive for someone like myself.

"I had a great tour guide in (assistant manager) Davie Weir. As soon as I walked into the trophy room and saw the portrait of Bill Struth and the 54 pennants on the wall I was just bitten.

"When I saw what had gone before and when I spoke to the gaffer here and saw what an exciting future this club could have, I thought it was an opportunity I just can't turn down.

"I had great options on the table. I had a phenomenal year at Burnley, but what they are going to do next year is something I've done before."

Barton presents himself as a far more stable character than in the past but while he remains outspoken, he was keen to distance himself from tweets he has previously sent declaring himself a Celtic supporter.

"You only support one club,'' he insisted. "I'm an Evertonian, but coming from a football family, if the Milan derby was on you'd have to pick a side.

"So having gone to Catholic schools, I didn't really have a choice. I've said on Twitter, amongst other things, I'm a Celtic fan. You have to take that in jest. I don't think anybody will have any doubt about my allegiances when we play Celtic.''

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph