Joey Barton has called on TV execs to take female pundits off air and continued his onslaught of criticism directed at Eni Aluko, suggesting she ‘can’t count’ and ‘feels sorry’ for her.
Barton has been widely condemned – even by Rishi Sunak – for his attacks on female pundits, even going as far as invoking the names of serial killers Fred and Rose West when making vindictive remarks online.
Aluko said she had been ‘genuinely scared’ to leave her house following Barton’s tirades and resurfaced in Ivory Coast.
The ex-England star-turned-broadcaster has been a primary target of the 41-year-old and he again spoke about her on his Common Sense podcast.
He said: ‘Even Eni Aluko this week saying she was scared to go out the house, I have to take that at face value.
Joey Barton suggested Eni Aluko ‘can’t count’ and called on TV execs to ditch female pundits
Eni Aluko (left) and Lucy Ward (right) have reportedly taken legal advice over Joey Barton’s social media attacks after he compared the pundits to serial killers Fred and Rose West
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‘I think she’s been a really good women’s footballer, let’s be honest she shouldn’t be talking about the men’s game, she’s had ample opportunity and she’s not got better.
‘For me to hear her say this week in the video that her peer group are telling her she’s doing really well… okay, well it’s not her fault, then she’s clearly not getting the correct training or help get better or the correct constructive feedback loops.’
Barton then went on to say that female pundits should not be allowed on air, for the sake of their own mental health.
He went on: ‘I don’t blame Eni and I don’t blame any of the girls but if I’m an advocate for men’s mental health, we have to think about young women’s mental health as well, it can’t be beneficial to these young ex-women footballers to be in positions and have to shut down their social media feeds for the amount of abuse they’re getting for not knowing their onions.’
Barton then suggested Aluko ‘can’t count’, seemingly referring to a clip that went viral on social media of her punditry during the 2022 World Cup when she said: ‘Richarlison is the top scorer for Brazil over the last two years, he’s got a great record, 19 goals in 40 appearances, do the math on that and it’s one goal a game, pretty much.’
She later responded to the backlash saying: ‘Got myself a first class law degree, 102 caps and a doctorate but maths wasn’t always my forte.
‘Nearly one in two games is the math on Richarlison. But some of you weirdo twitterati knew that already. Might also learn from the rest of the analysis conveniently ignored.’
Barton seemed to refer to the blunder, adding: ‘The lads can’t not have a go at them, if you can’t count, do basic arithmetic and if you can’t describe what loads of lads are actually seeing, they’re going to get frustrated and say stupid stuff on social media and I don’t think it’s fair on the girls but they should not be in that position.
‘So who does the responsibility lie with? It it on the social media companies to block out the noise? Is it on the broadcaster to take these people off the screens?’
Barton expressing sympathy for Aluko after fanning the flames of the online abuse was a point apparently lost on the ex-Bristol Rovers boss.
His tone also appeared to have changed from his immediate reaction to Aluko saying she was scared to leave the house, resurfacing in the Ivory Coast.
He previously tweeted: ‘Cry me a f***ing river… I was waiting for the victim card to be played.
‘Eni, sorry luv, you’re dreadful as a pundit. Tone deaf, can’t count and most importantly you know next to nothing about men’s football.
‘You should have ran off to a desert island after your ‘Arteta phoning Pep to put in a bid’ in nonsense.
‘Everyone is laughing at you. Not just me.’
Barton added in another post: ‘What surprised me the most is all her colleagues and peers saying she was ‘smashing it’ to her face.
‘Done well to keep a straight face the fella. Someone’s a bad baldy tire. Meritocracy rules.’
In a video message, Aluko reacted to Barton’s rants, including one that targeted her and Lucy Ward when they appeared on ITV’s coverage of the FA Cup third round tie between Crystal Palace and Everton.
ITV denounced Joey Barton’s criticism of Aluko and Ward as ‘shameful’ and ‘contemptible’
Barton – who’s former team-mate Nedum Onuoha recently described him as a bully – claimed the broadcaster had reached a ‘new low’ and then compared Aluko and Ward to the Wests, who murdered 12 women and young girls over the course of 20 years.
‘Now, I’m open and honest and I’m human and I’m more than happy to admit: I’ve been scared this week,’ Aluko said.
‘I’ve genuinely been scared this week. I didn’t leave my house until Friday and I’m now abroad. Because it’s really important to say that online abuse has a direct impact on your safety and how you feel and how safe you feel in real life.
‘I’ve felt under threat this week. I’ve felt like something is going to happen to me. And I don’t say that for anyone to feel sorry for me – I say that for people to understand the reality and the impact that hate speech has.’
According to the Telegraph, Aluko and Lucy Ward have sought legal advice in response to Barton’s posts.
Barton doubled down on his vicious jibe about Fred and Rose West – writing: ‘On reflection, I feel I’ve been a tad harsh on Eni Aluko by comparing her to Rose West,’ Barton wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Britain’s sports minister Stuart Andrew has branded the comments ‘dangerous and disgusting’
‘Had a bit of time to consider the impact of my words after @itvfootball big statement.
‘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!’
Britain’s Sports Minister Stuart Andrew has branded Barton ‘dangerous and disgusting’, while Prime Minister Sunak described him as ‘completely ridiculous’.