Joey Barton hits out at Mary Earps after England star wins SPOTY award

Capped once by England, the former footballer has caused controversy with a string of sexist comments in recent weeks and maintains Ronnie O’Sullivan and Frankie Dettori were more deserving than the Lionesses icon

Jack Rathborn
Wednesday 20 December 2023 15:54 GMT
Alex Scott sends defiant message to women in football after Joey Barton outbursts

Joey Barton has continued to spread his controversial views by calling England icon Mary Earps “a big sack of spuds” and claims the Lionesses goalkeeper did not deserve to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 30-year-old played a pivotal role for England at the Women’s World Cup, falling agonisingly short to Spain in the final, despite her penalty save. The Manchester United star did claim Fifa’s Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper at the tournament.

Earps edged out England cricketer Stuart Broad and heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson for the top prize.

But Barton, who featured once for the Three Lions over just 12 minutes in his career, is adamant legendary jockey Frankie Dettori or seven-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan were more worthy than Earps.

Barton, who has been out of work since being sacked by Bristol Rovers in October, has routinely provoked fans on social media with his sexist agenda on the game due to the increased role women now play in the coverage of men’s football.

And after singling out England legend Alex Scott, the former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder initially congratulated Earps before his latest rant at the creation of a “culture of snowflakes”.

He said: “To win before Ronnie O’Sullivan and Frankie Dettori…? Well, that’s just madness to me.

“Both almost genius like in their respective fields. They’ve lost to a big sack of spuds that plays in goal for a girls team.

“That’s the world we live in. This all started with the ‘Everyone’s a Winner’ sport’s days. This is what happens when you celebrate mediocre. You breed this weak culture. A culture of losers.

“A culture of snowflakes.”

Barton, who scored six penalties out of seven in his career, also insisted: “I’d score 100 out of 100 penalties against Mary Earps.”

Scott sent a defiant message to women in football after Barton’s attack on women covering the men’s game, insisting that the sport “is a better place with us all in it”.

Barton had earlier said that women “shouldn’t be talking with any kind of authority” on men’s football, before comparing having women on commentary, co-commentary or punditry duty as “like me talking about knitting or netball”.

England goalkeeper Mary Earps has been congratulated by the Prince of Wales after she was crowned 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (PA Wire)

He also bemoaned the fact that “you cannot watch a game now without hearing the nonsense” and that “any man who says otherwise is an absolute fart parcel” as well as repeatedly calling any dissenters “eunuchs”. He then expanded his remit of rage to insist that “tokenistic” hiring practices mean there will no longer be any jobs available in men’s football for white, middle-aged, British men.

In an appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, Barton also specifically took aim at Scott, who won 140 caps for England and has become a prominent pundit since her retirement, including as the current host of Football Focus on the BBC. “She hasn’t played in it [the men’s game],” said Barton. “One is 200 years old and one is about 40 years old… It’s the same rules but football is about a lot more than rules… The games are at two different speeds.”

After presenting live coverage of the Women’s Super League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea on Sunday afternoon – which was played in front of a WSL-record crowd of 59,042 at the Emirates Stadium – Scott took the opportunity to slyly hit back at Barton’s comments and deliver a heartfelt message to women in football.

"Just before we say goodbye,” began Scott. “To all the women in football, in front of the camera or behind it, to the players on the pitch, to everyone that attends games – keep being the role models that you continue to be to all those young girls that are told 'no, you can't'. Football is a better place with us all in it."

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