Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd reckons new Rangers midfielder Joey Barton is only mouthing off about his Parkhead rivals because he is jealous.
Barton – who has confessed that as well as supporting Everton, he grew up cheering on the Hoops – has not been shy about commenting on his side’s Old Firm foes since clinching his Ibrox move.
He took aim at Celtic skipper Scott Brown last weekend, telling talkSPORT: “He’s not in my league – he’s nowhere near the level of player I am.”
He also questioned new Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers’ credentials after pointing out his lack of silverware success during his stints at Swansea and Liverpool.
But Boyd has hit back at the one-cap former England midfielder by insisting Barton is green with envy.
The Celtic ambassador, speaking as he presented the Glasgow Taxis’ Outing Fund for Sick Children with a cheque for £7,000 on behalf of the Celtic FC Foundation, said: “Joey is certainly making an impact in Scottish football already.
“I think there’s a hint of jealousy there that he’s not pulling on the hoops. He is a lifelong Celtic supporter, he’s supported us for a number of years.
“So I just think he’s jealous that he’s not getting to play alongside Scott Brown or that Brendan didn’t come in for him. I think that’s the reason why he’s shouting off his mouth now.
“It’s a little bit of banter before the start of the season and I’m sure (the media) all love that. I’ve no doubt the Celtic supporters will have a wee song about him when he comes to Celtic Park.”
And the retired Hoops defender dismissed suggestions Brown would have a point to prove when he does come up against former Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and Marseille midfielder Barton.
“No chance,” said Boyd. “A Celtic captain? A Scotland captain with the medals Scott has won? No danger. This won’t bother Scott at all.
“There will be some light-hearted banter on the match day and we’ll look forward to it.”