Joey Barton has accused ITV of covering up the Phillip Schofield scandal (Picture: ITV)
The former Newcastle United and Manchester City footballer continued his bizarre personal crusade against the increasing involvement of women in the men’s game with his most sickening opinion yet on Thursday night.
Following ITV’s coverage of Crystal Palace’s FA Cup third round tie against Everton, the out of work football manager compared Aluko, a former England international, and respected co-commentator Ward to two of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, Fred and Rose West.
ITV responded with a forceful statement, admonishing Barton and championing their continued promotion of women in their coverage of the sport.
It read: ‘For Joey Barton, an ex-professional player with a significant social media presence, to target to of our pundits, Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward, with such vindictive remarks based on gender and to invoke the names of serial killer in doing so is clearly contemptible and shameful on his part.
‘Football is for everyone.’
Phillip Schofield left ITV after admitting to an affair with a younger male employee (Picture: Shuttershock)
Eni Aluko has embarked on a successful media career following her playing career which saw her capped on over 100 occasions by England(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Gary Neville, who appeared as an analyst for ITV during last year’s World Cup, applauded the statement, and responded saying: ‘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.’
In response, Barton admonished Neville before warning the former Manchester United captain he would ‘get emptied’ Barton turned his ire on ITV.
‘Is this the same @ITV @itvfootball that tried to cover up Phillip Schofield… Asking for a friend’, Barton posted on his X account.
Schofield resigned from ITV with ‘immediate effect’ in May last year after the former This Morning presenter confessed to having an affair with a runner on the show.
The veteran 61-year-old presenter was forced to leave the channel altogether after admitting to an ‘unwise but not illegal’ relationship with a much younger male colleague.
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The former Newcastle midfielder compared Lucy Ward and Eni Aluko to serial killers Fred and Rose West.