Rumour Mill: Barton v Warburton | Keane '˜wrong' to slam Celtic | '˜Public safety' behind Old Firm date

Joey Barton may be on his way out at Ibrox after a furious row with manager Mark Warburton, Chris Sutton believes Roy Keane was wrong to criticise Celtic in the wake of the Barcelona loss, and '˜public safety' was the reason behind Police Scotland opting for the Old Firm derby to take place on Hogmanay.

A row between Mark Warburton and Joey Barton, left, led to the latter's exodus from the Ibrox dressing room. Picture: SNS

Barton banned by Rangers

Joey Barton was banned from Ibrox until next Monday after an explosive row with manager Mark Warburton, putting his career in Scotland in jeopardy after only four months north of the border.

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An insider told the Daily Record the confrontation occurred after Barton slaughtered his team-mates in a dressing room argument, and the situation only escalated when Warburton tried to intervene. Barton apologised on social media but there are doubts as to whether he still has a future at the club. (Daily Record)

Walker ‘disappointed’ with Brown

Hearts midfielder Jamie Walker revealed he was “disappointed” with Scott Brown after the (at the time) Scotland captain accused him of diving following Celtic’s victory at Tynecastle on the season’s opening day.

Walker was given a two match ban for diving after winning the penalty which brought Hearts back into the game at 1-1. (Evening News)

Sutton: Keane wrong to criticise Celtic

Roy Keane failed to look at “the bigger picture” when he criticised Celtic’s mindset following the 7-0 loss in Barcelona, according to ex-Hoops striker Chris Sutton.

The BT Sport pundit pointed to the financial disparity between Celtic and their opponents, while also joking that Keane should know all about “weak mentality” as a former manager of Ipswich Town. (Daily Record)

Scottish football ‘too negative’ - Warburton

Mark Warburton has expressed his despair at what he regards as a harmfully negative mindset enveloping Scottish football.

The Rangers manager railed earlier this week against the reaction to his team’s 5-1 defeat in the opening Old Firm game of the season at Celtic Park, branding some of the media coverage as “mischievous” and “poisonous”. (The Scotsman)

‘Public safety’ behind Old Firm Hogmanay fixture

‘Public safety’ is the reason behind the next Old Firm game taking place on Hogmanay, according to Police Scotland.

The game will be played on the date for the first time in the fixture’s 126-year history. Assistant chief constable Bernard Higgins insists the decision was made to ensure an early kick-off, sufficient public transport and the belief fans will return home early to keep “commitments around family celebrations and gatherings”. (The Herald)

Niall McGinn to be offered new deal

Aberdeen are set to offer playmaker Niall McGinn a new deal to keep him at Pittodrie.

The Northern Irish international will see his current contract expire at the end of the campaign, though he has already expressed his desire to remain with the Scottish Premiership side. (Daily Record)

‘Horrible equation’ led to Celtic loss

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has expressed sympathy with Celtic over their 7-0 defeat by Barcelona and described the set of circumstances leading up to the match as “a horrible equation”.

Brendan Rodgers’ side had just 72 hours to enjoy their 5-1 win over Rangers before they themselves suffered a bruising drubbing from Barcelona in the Champions League. (The Scotsman)

Hearts deserve diving reputation - Wright

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright insists his players will be ready for Hearts’ diving antics when the two teams meet tomorrow.

Robbie Neilson dismissed suggestions his team was earning a reputation for the unsavoury act, but Wright believes it is a deserved accusation, stating that Hearts “maximise any contact” whenever they can. (Daily Mail)

Stewart Regan defends Uefa voting decision

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan insists the decision to back Aleksander Ceferin for Uefa president was the best thing for the domestic game amid reports that losing candidate Michael van Praag would have given Scottish clubs a better chance of gaining access to the Champions League. (The Scotsman)


• Inverness CT manager Richie Foran believes his team have every chance of defeating Celtic. (Press and Journal)

• Jim Goodwin wants to return to St Mirren one day as the club’s manager. (Evening Times)

• Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo labelled Scott Brown ‘dirty’ and Stuart Armstrong a ‘Lunatico’ in the wake of Celtic’s match in the Nou Camp. (Mundo Deportivo)

• Former Dundee United defender Gavin Gunning has joined Morton until January. (The Scotsman)