Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has aimed a dig at Rangers and manager Mark Warburton, referring to them as “fools” when discussing his Ibrox exit.
Barton has been unable to turn things around at the Memorial Stadium so far and 23rd-placed Rovers are on course to be relegated back to League Two this season.
Speaking to the Bristol Post, the 38-year-old indicated he remains adamant he is the right man to lead the club moving forward and bring the changes needed to ensure the Gas can be successful in the future.
To make his point, he couldn’t resist aiming a dig at one of his former club’s Rangers and Warburton – the manager at Ibrox when his failed spell came to a dramatic end.
He said: “There has been nothing I’ve found here from the players that has surprised me.
“There’s certain things about the infrastructure in terms of the sports structure behind that.
“I’m talking to you about a Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares scenario, and I really do put it at that level. Maybe it’s just me.
“People forget I left Glasgow Rangers because the club and the manager and the coaching staff, in my opinion, weren’t at the required level to dominate Scottish football and I’m someone that doesn’t suffer fools.”
Barton added: “I’ve never suffered them in my career and I’ve been fortunate to spend most of my career in the top division in the world.
“I’ve had five seasons outside it. Three in the Championship where I’ve won it twice, once by a record points total, and the other time in a play-off final. I’ve had a year in France at Olympique Marseille where we finished second and qualified for the Champions League, and then I had two months up at Glasgow Rangers and came back to the Premier League.
“They’re the only times I’ve spent outside the elite level of football, which is the Premier League, and I know how things need to be done. That’s not me being blasé, I’m the only guy in the building who’s operated at that level for a long, long period. It’s something that I expect.
“I haven’t come here to earn a wage. I’ve been very fortunate over my career and I’ve invested very well. I don’t need to work. I do this because I love it and I enjoy the challenge, and Rovers for me was an enormous challenge.”
Barton’s brief spell at Ibrox was, without doubt, a failure. The fiery midfielder joined the club in 2016 after leaving Burnley but despite signing a two-year contract only lasted two months.
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Barton was notorious for his fiery on pitch-persona and it seems his approach to management, and particularly dealing with the media, is no different.
The 38-year-old’s time at Ibrox was messy and it’ll likely frustrate Rangers supporters to hear him aiming digs at them given how things played out.
Likewise, QPR fans won’t want to see one of their former players having a pop at their current boss.
He’s not exactly making any friends with these comments.