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Joey Barton charged by SFA over 44 football bets

Thu, Oct 6, 9:00am by Staff Writer

High-profile footballer Joey Barton has become the latest big name to be caught up in a betting scandal after the Scottish Football Association issued charges claiming the 34-year-old bet on 44 matches.

Barton, who currently plays for Rangers in the Scottish League, has been asked to respond to allegation that he placed the bets between July 1 and September 15 this year.

He has until next week to respond to the charges and will face a SFA hearing on October 27.

SFA disciplinary rule 33 prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world.

Barton, a one-time England international, has had a colourful and controversial career at Manchester City, Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers and Marseille.

A talented midfielder, he is better known for a series of on and off field incidents, including one which led to him being jailed for assault in 2008.

He is currently serving a three-match club ban for a training ground incident.

“Joey Barton was Rangers’ marquee summer signing and arrived with the boast that he had come to Scotland to be the best player in the country,” BBC analyst Roddy Forsyth said.

“Since then, there has been a catalogue of controversy, including online taunts aimed at Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Scott Brown, and a training bust-up with a team-mate which eventually saw him suspended for three weeks.”

“The bookies were offering 16-1 on him being Scottish player of the year at the end of the season, but those odds will have rocketed… if you can still get them.”

Barton was investigated after it was reported he won money on Celtic’s 7-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League.

“Disciplinary Rule 31: In that between 1st July and 15th September 2016, both dates inclusive, you placed 44 bets upon football matches, and accordingly gambled upon football matches in contravention of Disciplinary Rule 31,” the SFA statement read.

Scottish authorities have been cracking down on players betting on matches.

Partick Thistle midfielder Steven Lawless was given a six-match ban after being accused of betting on 513 matches, while two former Rangers players, Steve Simonsen and Ian Black, have also served bans relating to betting.

Another player, Michael Moffat from Dunfermline served a four-game ban in 2014 after he was found guilty of placing seven bets on six matches involving his own team.

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