‘I’ve been watching the game for over 40 years, before Joey was even born’
Bianca Westwood has blasted Joey Barton for his sexist comments about whether women are qualified to comment on men’s football.
The pair were appearing on Piers Morgan Uncensored on Thursday night (December 7) as part of a debate about Barton’s comments, which her had made on social media throughout the day.
The former QPR midfielder had made a series of posts on X in which he repeatedly called for women to stop commentating on and analysing men’s football.
He said women “shouldn’t be talking with any kind of authority in the men’s game” because it’s “completely different,” arguing it was the same as him “talking about knitting or netball.”
Barton later appeared on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show to explain his comments.
Westwood also appeared on the show to debate Barton, and slammed him for his view and for him singling out a female vlogger from Manchester City, something which drew criticism from presenter Laura Woods as well,
She said: “The way in which he [Barton] tweeted, especially singling out the vlogger from Manchester City, I just thought it was out of order because I’ve been on the wrong end of dog’s abuse when I very first started reporting.”
The former Soccer Saturday reporter continued: “Who is qualified to speak on football then? I’ve been watching the game for over 40 years, my first game at West Ham was before Joey was even born.
“I’ve watched hours and hours of football, I worked behind the scenes at Sky for 10 years before I was even given a shot on camera, watching many of my male colleagues who probably weren’t always as good as I was, getting chances I was never given.
“I don’t really understand exactly what you need to know, how long we need to work behind the scenes before we are allowed on camera? To be a pundit, the laws are the same. I can read a game of football. Emma Hayes and Sarina Wiegman can both read the game, are you saying they can’t offer an insight?
“Sounds to me like Joey has a problem with particular female pundits who, to his knowledge, haven’t done enough in the game, but how does he know? And how do we quantify that? There’s EFL players who are commentating, co-commentating on Champions League games. So what level – as far as Joey Barton is concerned – do you have to get before you are allowed to be a pundit on the ‘men’s game’?”
Barton replied: “I take everything on board. I’ve known Bianca, being around the game for as long as she has and she works very hard and does a fantastic job.
“I wouldn’t say Bianca is there on tokenism, she’s worked incredibly hard and has earned that recognition within the industry.”
Many praised Westwood for her dismantling of Barton’s argument, including Chris Kamara, who commented under the clip from the show: “Spoke eloquently B.”
Another person wrote: “Well said Bianca”
Barton’s playing career included spells at Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR. He won 83 Premier League games, and picked up 84 cards.
In October this year, he was sacked as manager of Bristol Rovers.