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Joey Barton reacts to ‘genuinely scared’ Eni Aluko fleeing UK because of him | Football | Sport

Joey Barton has reacted after former England international Eni Aluko admitted she had fled the UK after comments he has aimed at her in recent weeks. Barton has spoken out against female football pundits and has been particularly critical of Aluko.

After Aluko posted a video to social media, Barton took to X (formerly Twitter) and wrote: “Cry me a f****** 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 a bid’ in nonsense. Everyone is laughing at you. Not just me.”

Barton’s comments referenced a remark Aluko made last summer when she suggested Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had rung Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to ask him to put in a bid for Declan Rice in an attempt to get the Gunners owners to table a rival offer. Aluko admitted this week that Barton’s comments have left her ‘scared’ in an emotional Instagram video.

“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. The impact that racism has. The impact that sexism has. The impact that misogyny has on all of us females in the game, in sports broadcasting.”

Aluko and ex-Leeds striker Lucy Ward were targeted by Barton after they had appeared on ITV to give their views on Everton’s 0-0 FA Cup third-round draw against Crystal Palace at the start of January as the one-cap England international wrote: “How is [Aluko] 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 comments sparked a statement from ITV. And after thanking the broadcaster for its support during her lengthy video, Aluko added: “If you come out and are racist, or sexist or misogynistic and threaten people online, there are laws for that and that govern that behaviour. It’s not free. It’s not freedom of consequences, either. There are consequences for that. And over the past week I’ve taken advice from lawyers and a course of action has now been decided upon.” Barton has also publicly criticised other high-profile female pundits like Alex Scott.

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