Joey Barton: Rangers midfielder charged with breaking gambling rules
Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has been charged with breaking rules relating to gambling on football matches.
The 34-year-old is accused by the Scottish Football Association of placing 44 bets between 1 July and 15 September this year.
Barton is due to return from a three-week club ban on Monday following an internal dispute.
The player has until 12 October to respond to the charge, with a hearing date set for 27 October.
SFA disciplinary rule 33 prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world.
In May, Partick Thistle midfielder Steven Lawless was given a six-match ban, with four of those suspended until the end of this season, after being accused of betting on 513 matches.
Two former Rangers players, Steve Simonsen and Ian Black, have also served bans relating to gambling rules breaches in recent years.
Dunfermline striker Michael Moffat served a four-game ban in 2014, when at Ayr United, after he was found guilty of placing seven bets on six matches involving his own team, as well as a number of other bets.
BBC Radio 5 live football reporter Roddy Forsyth:
"Joey Barton was Rangers' marquee summer signing and arrived with the boast that he had come to Scotland to be the best player in the country.
"Since then, there has been a catalogue of controversy, including online taunts aimed at Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Scott Brown, and a training bust-up with a team-mate which eventually saw him suspended for three weeks.
"The bookies were offering 16-1 on him being Scottish player of the year at the end of the season, but those odds will have rocketed... if you can still get them."