'Joey Barton is no stranger to controversy'. That sentence has been tapped out on the keyboards of perhaps hundreds of journalists over the years. At this stage, the sentence should perhaps read, 'Not only is Joey Barton no stranger to controversy, but rather, controversy has gotten to know him quite well over the years. The two would generally be considered quite close, and are regularly seen together in public.'
Yes, he's at it again. The 'Balls.ie what will Joey Barton do next?' series continues.
Barton was appearing on 'Talksport' on Saturday morning and decided to address the controversy he became embroiled in after Rangers lost to Celtic by five goals to nil in the first Old Firm derby of the season. Barton was told to stay away from Rangers until Monday morning after being involved in a training ground altercation with team-mate Andy Halliday and boss Mark Warburton.
And he could potentially have placed himself even more firmly in Warburton's bad books by going on Talksport to say, "I don't believe I've done anything to apologise for."
The Daily Record reports that Rangers bosses are annoyed by Barton's remarks, which are perhaps just a slightly misjudged attempt to tell fans his side of the story rather than an effort to gain leverage through public support:
The manager pulled me in afterwards and asked me to explain what I’d said and I’d told him in no certain terms where I believed it to be at. So he’s saying I need to go away, think things through.
I’ve been asked to re-evaluate the way I’m thinking, but I don’t think that’s going to change - I want Rangers to win.
Everything we’ve talked about as the players is about getting better.
While he admitted that he can be "a bit blunt" and can "ruffle people's feathers", when he was asked by Jim White if he had apologised to Warburton he replied, "I don't believe I've done anything to apologise for."
Maybe I don’t communicate like somebody who has been educated at Eton, but that’s not me, I’m from Liverpool.
I communicate how I communicate and I want to win football matches. It can be bristling at times and for that I take responsibility. Maybe I could communicate better and I accept that, but the message doesn’t change.
It’s not the wrong message I’m communicating, and it’s unfair for anybody to say that is the case. There is absolutely no issue with me and Andy. There was no anger.
We sat down in the dressing room afterwards and spoke through what was said. It’s disappointing that certain people are trying to insinuate that there is (an issue), because it’s completely false.
Barton explained his decision to go on Talksport by saying that with his controversial "history" it might have "looked like something more has happened" so he felt explanation was necessary.
You can listen to the full interview with Barton below.