Police speak to Joey Barton over social media posts

Joey Barton, manager of Bristol Rovers during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Charlton Athletic and Bristol Rovers at The Valley, London on Tuesday 15th August 2023
Barton has especially targeted female football pundits in posts on X - Getty Images/Tom West

Police want to speak to Joey Barton about his social media posts, with the former footballer revealing officers had visited him four times in three days this week to arrange a “voluntary interview”.

The former Manchester City and Newcastle United player is already being sued by Jeremy Vine for calling the BBC presenter a “bike nonce” on X and also faces legal action from Eni Aluko and fellow pundit Lucy Ward after comparing them on the same site to serial killers Fred and Rose West, as well as dictators Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.

Aluko revealed the abuse she had suffered as a result of what she branded Barton’s racist and misogynistic rants had made her frightened to leave her home.

The last four-and-a-half months have seen Barton embark on a succession of tirades on X, mainly against women working in football.

He wrote on Friday: “I’ve been visited 4 times in 3 days by Cheshire Police. Asking for a Voluntary interview about something I’ve tweeted.

“Including a couple of women police officers knocking at 9.30pm last night when my kids were in bed. I’ve given them my solicitors information and number.

“He then called to arrange an interview. No answer, so he left a voice message for the Sergeant who’d visited on the 1st occasion.

“The last two women didn’t know there had been 3 visits in 3 days, apparently! Either it’s a shambles or an attempt to intimidate me and my family. Welcome to North Korea.”

Cheshire Police said in a statement: “Following reports of offences under the Communications Act, we can confirm that we have made multiple attempts to arrange a voluntary interview with a 41-year-old man from Liverpool.

“To date, we have not had any response from his legal representatives and we await further contact.”

Barton has previously been arrested and charged for allegedly “kicking his wife in the head” and causing a “golf ball-sized lump” during a drunken row at their home in in Kew, south-west London.

He was cleared after a judge ruled that he could not receive a fair trial because prosecutors would not call wife Georgia to give evidence after she retracted her complaint against him.

During his playing career, Barton jabbed a cigar in the eye of City team-mate Jason Tandy at a Christmas party, leading to him being fined six weeks’ wages.

A training-ground brawl with Ousmane Dabo also saw him handed a six-match ban by the Football Association.

Barton has posted previously about his legal battles with Vine and Aluko.

In January, he uploaded an Instagram message from the latter’s legal team including “a letter of claim”.

He wrote: “Another day. Another letter from Samuel’s Solicitors.

“Eni Aluko now joining Jeremy Vine and suing me for saying she’s not very good at her job. Interesting that they both are using the same solicitors.”