Barton takes aim at Giggs, Terry and the media
Published 18:22 17/10/11 By MirrorFootball
Joey Barton lived up to his reputation for outspoken honesty today with attacks on Ryan Giggs, John Terry and the England rugby team.
Despite sharing a stage with four other speakers at today's Professional Players Federation national conference, Barton completely dominated the discussion, giving forth views on matters such as the right to privacy, social media, the Royal Family, the London riots, MPs expenses, and the Hillsborough disaster.
But it was his comments on fellow professionals Giggs and Terry and England's shamed rugby stars that were perhaps the most inflammatory.
The QPR captain hit out at Manchester United star Giggs' alleged affair with his own sister-in-law, saying: "The Giggs issue in any walk of life is not right.
"The behaviour of the man towards another man, towards his brother, it's not right, regardless of the player."
Barton also questioned Giggs' response to his name becoming public on the internet after an injunction was granted preventing it being published by traditional media.
"What blew it up for Giggs was when he threatened to sue Twitter - bad legal advice," Barton said.
"I don't think anybody in the world's got the kind of money to get that case through.
"Everyone on Twitter got defensive about their right to freedom of speech."
Barton was equally critical of England captain Terry, who allegedly had an affair with the former partner of then international team-mate Wayne Bridge.
The midfielder said: "There was a human element then about, as a man, what you should do either to your friend at work or one of your colleagues.
"It shouldn't have happened."
Barton also claimed there would have been "public executions" had the England football team behaved like their rugby union counterparts at the current World Cup.
England's dismal campaign in New Zealand lurched from one controversy to another before and after their quarter-final exit, with players criticised for their off-field behaviour.
Barton, who has one international cap, said: "If that was an England football team at a World Cup, there would probably have been public executions when they got home.
"'Football's a gentleman's game played by thugs', I hear quite a lot, and, 'Rugby's a thug's game played by gentlemen'.
"The minute a footballer steps out of line, I think the media in this country - because of the sums of money they earn and also because of the stigma attached - are really quick to jump on it."
Barton, who has a chequered past himself, admitted he had been no angel.
And despite his criticisms, he insisted the media should not have been allowed to publish stories about Terry's transgressions and poured scorn on footballers' status as role models.
"There is a lot of envy about what footballers earn, the astronomical figures," he said.
"That's not our fault.
"I went from being on £300 a week playing in a big league to £6,500 a week.
"No-one taught me how to handle that, no-one taught me how to be a man, I didn't instantly get that wage increase and become a role model.
"I was still the same kid from a working-class council estate."
Barton has become one of the biggest personalities on Twitter thanks to his controversial opinions and he claimed the Football Association had asked him to moderate his language at a recent meeting.
"I feel that the FA came to hush me down or make me not have an opinion," he said.
"If they came to do that, they picked the wrong person, because there's no way I can be like that.
"If I didn't have an opinion, I'd cease to exist."
He added: "If I was to go out and pass comment and say: 'Everyone join this bondage club', then I think we would have an issue.
"But I'm going on there to have an extension of me.
"It sounds really bad when you say it because it just makes you think of Nazi Germany but it is a propaganda machine.
"Social media is a propaganda machine."