Joey Barton has invoked the memory of soldiers who fought in World War One – including his grandfather – to justify his attacks against women in football.
He also suggested that he would have to be killed before he could be cancelled, branding himself as a ‘lone wolf’.
The former footballer’s latest storm arrived over the weekend after he compared ITV pundits Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward to serial killers Fred and Rose West on Friday – before moving them to the ‘Joseph Stalin category’ on Sunday.
Barton has faced intense criticism in recent weeks for a series of misogynistic barbs against women working in the game, who he claims ‘aren’t qualified’ to talk about men’s football.
‘I have a great grandfather who was gassed at Ypres in 1915. He received a Military Medal for bravery later in that war. Patrick Stanton is his name. Look up his citation if you choose,’ he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday morning.
Joey Barton has tried to justify his tirade against women by suggesting it is a duty to those who died in World War One – and said you’d have to kill him before you could cancel him
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‘I have a duty to him. And the hundreds of thousands of men like him. Those who gave their lives, so you could have yours.
‘I won’t stand idly by and let you tear down this great country. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely better than most places on this Earth.’
In a separate tweet, he wrote: ‘Interesting that they attack the messenger and never the message!
‘Not many failed footballers, failed managers, criminals, convicts, violent thugs that command this amount of publicity.
‘I’m that Black Sheep. That lone Wolf. The one who doesn’t need your money. That doesn’t need your influence. That doesn’t fear you. That you can’t cancel. You will have to kill me.
‘I’m a week into the new year and I’ve got all of you, the Woke, the Race Hustlers, the Gender Hustlers, the Covid hustlers on f*****g toast. Keep watching and dancing to my tune, you f*****g imbeciles.’
Barton sparked strong backlash over the weekend after his comments about Aluko and Ward, with Stephen Wright labelling his views ‘vulgar, ill-informed and obscene’ in the Mail on Sunday.
He slammed Eni Aluko for working on Everton’s game against Palace – saying she ‘can’t even kick a ball properly’ – before making a sick taunt towards her and broadcaster Lucy Ward
After Aluko and Ward had covered Everton’s FA Cup draw with Crystal Palace fr ITV, he wrote on X: ‘How is she even talking about Men’s football. She can’t even kick a ball properly. Your coverage of the game EFC last night, took it to a new low. Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward, the Fred and Rose West of football commentary.’
The Wests murdered 12 women and young girls over the course of 20 years. Fred took his own life before facing trial while Rose was sentenced to 10 life terms. She remains in prison aged 70.
Barton’s tweet promoted a condemnatory response from ITV, who denounced his comments as ‘shameful’ and ‘contemptible’.
‘For Joey Barton, an ex-professional player with a significant social media presence, to target two of our pundits, Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward, with such vindictive remarks based on gender and to invoke the names of serial killers in doing so is clearly contemptible and shameful on his part,’ ITV said in a statement in response to his attack.
‘Football is for everyone.’
Barton hit back, writing: ”Shut up you f***ing idiots. Keep them off the tele. They’re ruining the game for everyone of us.
‘It’s what happens when you force under qualified, under prepared, tokenistic people onto us.’
His outburst prompted a heartfelt tweet from Gary Neville, who spoke about the chalenges women working in football face.
He wrote on X: ‘Well done ITV. It’s gone too far this and mentioning serial killers is quite simply incredible.
‘My daughters have watched Salford City with me for 10 years and like to comment on football, my mum was kicked out of the football team (boys in the 1960’s) and stopped playing due to mysogyny, my sister struggled for funding for her sport for years and my brother was mocked when he took over the England women’s team.
‘I come from a family that has fought these issues for years and I’ve witnessed it first hand. All this does is just discourage and it’s not the way forward. It’s bloody hard work for women to succeed in sport and media as it is without this stuff.’
Barton then took aim at the ex-Manchester United player, writing: ‘Gary, please keep your head down or you will get emptied as well. I know they pay your wages and I don’t want to have to put you away.’
And Barton wasn’t done there. On Sunday, he decided to revise his comments about Aluko – in order to change her into the category of Joseph Stalin.
He wrote: ‘On reflection, I feel I’ve been a tad harsh on Eni Aluko by comparing her to Rose West.
‘She’s clearly in the Joseph Stalin/Pol Pot category. She’s murdered hundreds of thousands of football fans ears in the last few years. Meritocracy Rules!’
Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century, including throughout World War II and is known for his totalitarian communist regime.
Pol Pot, meanwhile, was another communist dictator who ruled Cambodia as Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1976 and 1979.
More to follow.