Always outspoken, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton said on Thursday that it’s a “scary” time to be English and in top-flight soccer. At the Leaders in Football Conference at Stamford Bridge, Barton laid into the English Football Association and its new 10-man commission on the national team.
“What’s the point?” he asked (via Sky Sports). “I don’t get it. The whole point of hiring [FA chairman] Greg Dyke surely was because he knows what he is doing or at least has got an idea. Don’t turn around and say, ‘I am going to bring nine other people from all different fields of the game, and hopefully, we’ll make a group decision.’ It is never going to work.”
Barton recently returned to England from a one-year loan at Olympique de Marseille in Ligue 1. Even there, he was unable to escape the spotlight for the wrong reasons when he received a two-game suspension for calling Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva an “overweight ladyboy” on Twitter.
He was in fine form again on Thursday with his comments directed toward the FA.
“The Football Association is archaic,” he said. “It is completely and utterly out of its depth. It does not even run the major league in our country. The FA’s responsibility is to care about English football. They have no power apart from banning players.”
Barton said Dyke was smart to set up a commission to deflect the criticism that will inevitably find him when England “fall short” at the next major tournaments. At the same time, the Premier League is right to stay out of FA affairs.
“The Premier League have made a smart move in terms of isolating themselves,” Barton said. “Why would you want to be a part of it when you’ve got such a great product?”
Barton is often honest to a fault, and he was again unafraid to speak his mind on Thursday.