By Will Butcher
Celtic fans have reacted in amusing fashion on Twitter after Rangers midfielder Joey Barton was charged by the Scottish FA for betting on 44 separate matches.
The midfielder was originally accused of betting on just one match, believed to be Celtic’s 7-0 hammering by Spanish champions Barcelona.
However, the controversial star is accused of betting on 44 matches between July 1 and September 15, and has until October 12 to respond to the charge with a hearing date scheduled for October 27.
The former Manchester City and Newcastle star is currently seeing out a three-week suspension from the 54-time Scottish champions, after being involved in a training ground bust-up with fellow Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday.
Celtic fans reacted on Twitter in comical fashion after the 34-year-old was slapped with a charge, with many fans stating that his 44 bets was only 11 away from the magical number of 55 Scottish titles that Rangers desperately crave.
Here are a selection of their tweets:
@SkySportsNewsHQ 11 away from the elusive 55…
— Rory ? (@RoryWatson1) October 5, 2016
@Oldfirmfacts1 may I just wish Joey Barton all the best in maintaining his glittering and unblemished football career …
— christian durkin (@wrecsambhoy) October 5, 2016
Joey Barton almost achieved 55 #coupons
— Stephen Murray (@stevemur24) October 5, 2016
@SkySportsNewsHQ he did say he was going for 55 ,so he done well ??
— david spence (@spenceadavid) October 5, 2016
@SkySportsNewsHQ wonder did he put that in his book ????
— Michael Duffy (@dickmurphy27) October 5, 2016
@SkySportsNewsHQ must of been some size of football coupon he put on. Chasing the dream cause hes not doing that at rangers
— Aaron brown (@A_J_B19) October 5, 2016
Joey Barton had Celtic to beat Rangers 5-1 ?
— Josh misell (@Joshmisell96) October 5, 2016
One fan did raise the point that Barton has been banned despite sponsorship of gambling being rife in Scottish football.
its just laughable that joey barton, who plays in the ladbrokes spfl, William hill cup,and betfred cup is getting done for gambling.
— Jamie Stewart?? (@1690Jamie) October 5, 2016
Barton has played just eight times in all competitions for his current club, failing to score or provide an assist, before his latest controversy saw him banned until October 9th.