By Wayne Veysey

26th Apr, 2017 | 1:46pm

'Blessing', 'overrated' - Rangers fans react on Twitter to Barton 18-month ban

By Alex Stevens

Joey Barton has been hit with a sensational 18-month ban from football – and there is little sympathy from Rangers fans on Twitter.

The Football Association revealed on their official website on Wednesday that the Burnley player has been “suspended from football and all football activity for 18 months with immediate effect”.

This comes after the controversial 34-year-old admitted an FA misconduct charge in relation to betting at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

It was alleged that in a 10-year period ending May 2016, Barton placed 1,260 football bets in breach of FA Rule E8.

Barton joined Rangers on a two-year deal last summer but the transfer turned sour within months following a dressing room bust-up with teammate Andy Halliday.

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The 34-year-old former England international had his contract terminated by Rangers in November and joined Burnley for the second time on a free transfer in January.

Fans of the Scottish giants are convinced their club dodged a bullet by letting Barton leave and paying him off given that his career now appears to be over.

Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:

Burnley immediately announced on their official website that Barton plans to appeal against the length of his suspension.

The veteran midfielder, whose career has included spells at Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and Rangers, subsequently released a statement to reveal he is “very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction”.

He added the “decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football”.

In other Rangers news, one of the club’s outstanding players has revealed a leading Premier League club are keeping close tabs on him ahead of a summer move.

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