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Emma Hayes delivers powerful four-minute speech after Joey Barton's comments about female pundits

Jack Kenmare

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Emma Hayes delivers powerful four-minute speech after Joey Barton's comments about female pundits

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes believes women are "routinely used to dealing with systemic misogyny and bullying" in football after Joey Barton said that women "should not be talking with any kind of authority" about the men's game.

This week, former Manchester City and QPR midfielder Barton, who was recently sacked as the manager of League One side Bristol Rovers, has faced widespread criticism after he claimed female presenters aren't "qualified" to speak about men's football.

"Come on. Let's be serious. It's a completely different game," he said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "If you don't accept that. We will always see things differently. The women's game is thriving. Fantastic to see. I cannot take a thing they say serious in the men's arena."

Barton also said that female commentators are "like me talking about knitting or netball" and any man who listens to a woman on commentary "need their heads testing". He later added: "We have gone too far. You cannot watch a game now without hearing the nonsense. Any man who says otherwise is an absolute fart parcel."

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Since his extraordinary outburst, a number of leading figures in the world of women's football have had their say on the matter, including Alex Scott, Chloe Kelly, Bianca Westwood and Laura Woods, who criticised Barton for "throwing young vloggers to the wolves" on social media.

And on Friday, soon-to-be USWNT manager Emma Hayes made her feelings clear on the matter.

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When asked about Barton’s comments at a recent press conference, she said: "The realities are male privilege has always been at the centre of football in this country.

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"I feel that sport is the last place in society where that male privilege exists.

"I don't expect any individual to understand their privilege. Nonetheless you only have to see scores of women across the internet or in the business - whether that's coaches, presenters, players - we're routinely used to dealing with systemic misogyny, bullying and behaviour that has been pretty normal for a large part of the football public."

She added: "If you haven't experienced systemic misogyny, like lots of us have, you can't for one moment understand how detrimental some of these conversations are knowing that anything anyone says just enables an absolute pile on, particularly on social media.

"When it comes to the sport of football in this case, we have to remember that society isn't always as well represented across the media or across the game in coaching or playing."

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Hayes also played down the logic Barton used in his argument.

She said: "We wouldn't go into a hospital and have a female physician who's carrying out a surgical procedure on someone's kidney - we wouldn't turn around and say to that surgeon 'I hope she's a good patient because being a good patient means you're going to be a good doctor'.

"It's the same about being a great banker - does that mean you have to be a frugal spender to be a good banker?

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"Much in the same way, do you have to be a well-travelled passenger to be a good pilot?"

You can watch the press conference in full below:

Thoughts on Hayes' response to the comments made by Joey Barton? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Hayters TV - X/@PiersUncensored

Topics: Joey Barton, Emma Hayes, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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