By Craig Turnbull
New Rangers signing Joey Barton says fans will be under no illusions where his allegiances lie when they come up against Celtic next season.
Barton admitted on social media he was a Celtic fan but attempted to play down his tweet after signing for their fierce city rivals.
The 33-year-old was unveiled on Tuesday after signing a two-year deal following his decision to leave English Championship winners Burnley.
And he was keen to set the record straight.
“First and foremost I’m an Evertonian,” he said.
“You only support one club. Being from Liverpool, being a football man and being in a football family who love football you have to pick a side.
“If the Milan derby is on, if Barcelona and Real Madrid is on, you have to pick a side that’s just what we do.
“And obviously being Joseph Anthony, being sent to catholic schools and my grandma being a Roman Catholic – I didn’t really have a choice when it came to it and so you look out for one of the teams when the Old Firm is on.
“I think I’ve said on Twitter amongst other things I’m a Celtic fan but you have to take that in jest – my family kind of likes it.
“But I don’t think anybody will have any doubt about my allegiances when we play Celtic.
“It’s a great football institution the same as this one and there’s obviously a great rivalry between the two clubs which is great for Scottish football if I can contribute that in some way then so be it.
“It’s a great challenge and without being self-righteous it’s what Scottish football needs and it’s great to see it back on the agenda.”