Bristol Rovers boss and ex-Newcastle man Joey Barton gives take on Kevin Keegan ‘lady footballer’ comments
Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton has taken to social media to voice his support for Newcastle United legend Kevin Keegan after the former England manager criticised ‘lady footballer’ pundits.
At an event in Bristol last week the 72-year-old Yorkshireman shared that he ‘has a problem’ with female pundits being booked to provide punditry and insight on men’s international games. Keegan has been slammed for the comments and branded a misogynist in the aftermath.
The Times report that Keegan said: “I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team at the match because I don’t think it’s the same experience. I have a problem with that.
“The presenters we have now, some of the girls are so good, they are better than the guys. It’s a great time for the ladies. But if I see an England lady footballer saying about England against Scotland at Wembley and she’s saying, ‘If I would have been in that position I would have done this,’ I don’t think it’s quite the same. I don’t think it crosses over that much.”
Widespread criticism circulated online but some prominent stars in the world of football spoke out in support of Keegan, including Barton. The Gas manageris an active user on social media platform X and fired up the app to give his opinion on the matter.
The former Manchester City and Newcastle United man wrote: “Kevin Keegan. Ballon d’Or winner 1978. England manager. He’s bang on.”
Responding to Barton, who has overseen 140 Bristol Rovers games since 2021, one user said: “We have a Bristol Rovers women’s team. We have tonnes of female supporters of our club. We have a dinosaur for a manager.”
Harry Redknapp was another footballing figure to back Keegan. The ex-Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur manager told TalkTV: “Very brave. A lot of people will be thinking that for sure. There’s a lot of very knowledgeable women out there, make no mistake. I love women’s football. I love the World Cup, followed every game at the Euros, I love watching the women’s football. I can see where he’s coming from.”
The controversy comes just months after the Women’s World Cup which saw nearly two million football fans watch the 64 matches with FIFA selling more than 1.5 million tickets for the event. In the UK, 15.9 million people tuned in to watch the Lioness take on Spain in the final.
Former Lioness Lianne Sanderson said: “I won’t be doing any interviews about Kevin Keegan’s comments. I won’t be bringing light to misogyny. He’s irrelevant. But I would absolutely love it if he would shut up! Those comments are not needed. It’s a shame people feel threatened by some of us. Unlucky for those people!”