Joey Barton has denied claims he made a joke about child abuse at Celtic on Twitter.
The player was caught up in a spot of social media outrage after a tweet of his, according to the 35-year-old, was taken out of context.
During a Twitter Q&A, Barton was asked if he would return to Rangers under a different manager.
The ex-Ibrox midfielder, who thoroughly underwhelmed in his brief spell north of the border last season, pointed to his current ban for betting offences, though still believed he’d be the “best player up there”, referencing Scottish football.
This led to a number of supporters tweeting back at the controversial figure.
One user said: “I see your still on the glue ya w*******n. Did you get the kids the new Celtic tops?”
To which Barton replied: “Careful with the kids and Celtic in the same sentence Michael. Don’t want folk getting the wrong idea again.”
This sparked outrage among Twitter users, who assumed Barton was referencing historical child abuse at Celtic Boys’ Club.
However, Barton insists he was not meaning it in that way and that Celtic fans had wrongly jumped to conclusions.
He said in a series of tweets: “Seems I have upset a section of the Celtic fans. Think you have misread my comment back. I’ve never heard of any child abuse at Celtic.
“I was simply stating that the guy shouldn’t put my kids and Celtic in the same sentence because Celtic fans like to claim, I’m a Celtic fan.
“Which I’m not. Neither are my kids. Other than going to RC school as a kid and being bought a Celtic jersey as a kid by my gran.
“I was also bought Milan, Barca, Dortmund, PSV Eindhoven jerseys amongst others. This isn’t in my eyes being a fan. It’s being a kid.
“To jump to me making jokes about child abuse. I’ve never heard or read of any child abuse at Celtic. How could I make a joke about it?
“A few people need to re-read my comments and think about an apology. Some comments were disgusting to say the least. Strange world twitter.”
One disgusting comment came from a supporter who wished Barton’s children would get “ran over”.