We'll say this about Joey Barton: he's excellent at book promotion.
His new autobiography is scheduled to be released Thursday, at a time when Barton finds himself in the news for 1) being suspended from Rangers for allegedly punching a teammate and 2) facing an investigation for allegedly betting on the Barcelona-Celtic Champions League match (in Barton's defense, the supposed bet was for Barcelona to score three or more goals, which, good call).
Barton is an over-the-hill midfielder plying his trade in Scotland, which leaves many wondering why we're even talking about him.
What the World needs now is two more pages of drivel from Joey Barton. Media fascination with him a mystery.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) September 20, 2016
With all due respect to Mr. Darke, the media fascination with Barton is easily explained: he's interesting. He says and does interesting, controversial things all the time. We meant what we said when we said he's good at book promotion. Barton's main skill as a footballer right now is keeping himself in the news cycle.
Most players, when they get interviewed, say things like "I'm just here to help the club any way I can" and "We're just happy to get the three points."
Barton, on the other hand:
Joey Barton on playing for Rangers: "It’s a much lower level and I’m trying to help people get to a higher level." Goes down well in Glasgow— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) September 20, 2016
Writing about Joey Barton is fun and easy because he gives the media (present company included) a lot of material to work with.
Barton gives us sentences like this, from NBC Sports:
Less than 24 hours after being suspended for three weeks by Glasgow Rangers for a training ground bust-up with a teammate, it has been alleged that Barton is being investigated by the Gambling Commission for breaking betting rules.
No one else gives you that sentence, just Joey Barton, and as long as Barton continues to be controversial and interesting (probably forever) he will be in the media.
Contact The18 Staff Writer Sam Klomhaus at Klomhaus@The18.com or follow him on Twitter @SamKlomhaus