Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton calls for politics and sport to be kept apart

Football and politics are not a good mix according to Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:45 am
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton

Town last week put out a statement pledging their support to the Conservatives in the upcoming General Election, with the club’s owner, Andy Pilley, giving a guided tour to the Tory candidate for the area.

Pilley defended the club’s decision to back the Tories on Twitter, when questioned about the consequences to what is a working-class area.

Barton, who has appeared on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ in the past, believes that sport and politics aren’t a match.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: “You would always like football to remain free of politics, really.

“Politicians tend to use any means necessary to get a majority to give themselves influence.

“I can understand why they’d want to use sport, and football, as the dominant sport in this country, in particular.

“I always think when you mix politics and football together, it doesn’t really end well.”

Barton can see similarities between politics and his own line of work but wants to see a degree of intelligence and honesty from those involved.

“You just have to approach it with common sense,” he said.

“It’s tough to tell anyone to vote a certain way, ideally we wouldn’t be forced to choose the best of two relatively ineffective people for any job.

“Sometimes that does happen to football managers. Sometimes you need a left-back and there aren’t a great deal of left-backs, so you have to take what’s on offer.

“People will have to weigh up the pros and cons, how it affects them.

“The thing that gets me is the fearmongering and the lies.

“Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t let Boris Johnson walk my dog, so how are we going to let him run the country?

“But on the flip side there are a lot of things going on. Politics are a mess right now.

“I’m just going to focus on football really and stay away from what is a potential bad situation for all.

“Once you start choosing people to choose sides, once you start forcing people to be divided, I just think you end up with nonsense.”