Joey Barton: Rangers midfielder has no way back, says Barry Ferguson

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No way back for Joey Barton - Barry Ferguson

Joey Barton has no future at Rangers following his three-week suspension, says former captain Barry Ferguson.

The midfielder, 34, was sent home last week after a training ground row, with the ban announced after he attended an Ibrox meeting on Monday morning.

"I don't see a way back now," Ferguson told BBC Scotland.

"I'm disappointed because I was excited when he joined Rangers. I thought he would have been a great signing, but I don't think he'll play again."

A row with team-mate Andy Halliday in the wake of the derby loss to Celtic led to him being told to stay away from training last Tuesday.

Barton has made eight appearances for Rangers since joining as a free agent from Burnley in the summer on a two-year deal.

Rangers midfielder Joey Barton
Joey Barton joined Rangers from Burnley during the summer

While the club would not be drawn on the matter, the former Newcastle United and Manchester City player apologised on Twitter but then gave a radio interview questioning his temporary banishment from training.

"Rangers would have known that Joey is an opinionated guy," said Clyde manager Ferguson, who played for Rangers between 1996-2003 and 2005-09.

"That's part and parcel of Joey Barton. First, he's a really good player; second, he likes to have his say.

"I played against Joey plenty of times and I got to know him when I was doing my A-licence course two years ago and found him an interesting, intelligent guy.

"But he was like that on the course. Even when the assessors were showing us things, there were things he wasn't too happy with."

Ferguson, 38, who also captained Scotland, said training ground disputes are a regular occurrence in football.

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson won 15 trophies during his two spells at Rangers

"Anyone will tell you it happens two or three times a week," he explained.

"The manager is the man at the club who makes the decisions and it's clear to me he's not happy with what Joey's done. I think Joey knows himself that he won't play for Rangers again.

"But I don't see why it takes four weeks [to resolve the situation]. It's not good for the players or the fans - they want to know what's going on."

Ferguson, who won five titles, five Scottish Cups and five League Cups at Rangers, twice lost the captaincy under a cloud, with manager Paul Le Guen claiming he was undermined by the midfielder in 2007, while ill-discipline on international duty led to him being stripped of his duties for club and country in 2009.

"In my day, there were plenty of arguments, plenty of fights," he said. "The further it got was into the dressing room and then it got sorted. That was it over and done with.

"I like people with a voice on the training ground.

"They got beat 5-1 by their arch rivals, so nobody is going to be happy. There's going to be a bit of ding-dong. I don't see that as a problem.

"I'd love to know what was said between Joey and Andy."

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