Joey Barton has spoken of the culture shock he has experienced since signing for Rangers.
The midfielder, who is suspended for three weeks following a training ground bust-up with team-mate Andy Halliday, admits he has been stunned by the coverage his latest transgression has received.
“I can’t fart in Scotland without it making the news,” he said.
The 34-year-old was speaking in London at an event organised by the Times newspaper to promote his book ‘No Nonsense’.
The paper reports Barton as being bewildered by the scrutiny he has come under.
“I played golf two days ago,” Barton is quoted as saying. “On my way back, I read a Scottish newspaper and I was on the back page, the next two pages... it was five pages before they started talking about anything else.
“And it was about something which is a very, very small thing. It really is. That’s so weird.
“There are more pressing matters in the world. If that was getting the same amount of spotlight on it, the world would probably be a better place.
“But football is the ultimate distraction. It is the best way to divert people from what is actually going on in the world. Read the newspapers, people on radio stations getting irate. The Old Firm is more deeply rooted than just football. It’s different. it’s got a lot of things that go generationally.”
Barton denied that his brief experience of life in the Glasgow bubble had left him stressed.
He said his family were healthy and that he had great friends and money in the bank. “How dare I be stressed by what’s going [on] around me.”
The player said he knew how to avoid certain places and situations in Glasgow.
“It’s like the Queen,” he joked. “The Queen can’t got to Glastonbury because she is the Queen. When you assume a role, you have a responsibility.”