Joey Barton comments on women are ‘dangerous’, says sports minister Stuart Andrew

9 January 2024 0 By Total Football News
Joey BartonJoey Barton, who was sacked as Bristol Rovers manager in October, has made numerous rants against women in men's football recently

Former footballer Joey Barton's social media tirade against women working in the men's game is "not acceptable", says sports minister Stuart Andrew.

He added that Barton's rants on X are "dangerous comments that open the floodgates for abuse".

Andrew went on to say he will speak to social media companies about how such issues can be addressed.

Barton last week compared two female commentators and pundits to serial killers Fred and Rose West.

ITV responded with a statement criticising Barton's "vindictive remarks", saying they were "contemptible and shameful".

Andrew was speaking during the final evidence session at an inquiry into women's sport by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Asked by Labour MP and DCMS select committee member Julie Elliott whether he would condemn Barton's comments, Andrew replied: "Yes, I would. These are comments that open the floodgates for abuse and that's not acceptable.

"I'm always wary in these situations that these sort of people want the oxygen and I don't want to fuel that.

"I want to put on record my thanks for the amazing contribution that women and girls make to football and sport more generally."

Asked by Elliott if he would intervene and take this issue up with social media platforms, Andrew said: "I can happily do so."

In response to Andrew's comments, Barton tweeted "happy to have you on my podcast".

Andrew discussed a number of other topics during the session.

He said he will call a meeting of national sport governing bodies to look at the issue of transgender athletes, as some bodies have introduced policies on participation while some are yet to.

He added that "fairness and safety are the priority" as those bodies develop transgender policies, and that in any discussions it was important that "the temperature and language is right" because "we're talking about individuals here".

In addition, Andrew was asked about the discussions between the Premier League and English Football League regarding a revenue sharing model.

MPs have warned previously that they will consider getting an independent football regulator to impose a deal if one is not agreed.

Asked why the Premier League has not yet managed to agree a funding deal with the EFL, Andrew said "we want to send a very clear message that if football doesn't sort this out, the regulator will have to power to do that".

He added that he "genuinely hopes" that the Football Governance Bill, which will introduce an independent regulator in English football, will be presented to parliament "within the next couple of weeks".

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