Ex-Falkirk star Arfield told the Daily Mail that he believes members of the Murray Park squad couldn’t handle Barton’s forthright honesty when Rangers struggled for form at the beginning of this campaign.
Barton arrived with a degree of fanfare last summer when Mark Warburton recruited him to Ibrox on a two-year deal. However, the move would last only six months after a falling out between the former England international and the now ex-Rangers manager led to a club-imposed suspension on Barton.
Following his release, Barton re-signed for Burnley once the January transfer window opened and has impressed during his second spell at Turf Moor, helping the club in their fight against relegation from the English Premier League.
His failure to perform in the Ladbrokes Premiership was a source of curiosity to onlookers, but Arfield insists Rangers had no-one to blame but themselves.
He said: “I honestly think it was Rangers who created the problem. They didn’t use him properly and that was the downfall.
“Joey’s a massive character, a leader and a winner. Yeah, he can rattle a few cages. But those are the guys who can also inspire a full dressing room.
“It seems to me like the Rangers players just couldn’t hack him or didn’t want to hear some home truths.
“It speaks volumes for Joey – and reflects really badly on Rangers – that he has come back down here and has started winning man-of-the-match awards straight away.”