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Why Jeremy Vine v Joey Barton has Fans Hoping for a Lose-lose Situation

Why Jeremy Vine v Joey Barton has Fans Hoping for a Lose-lose Situation

Joseph Anthony Barton’s football odyssey has been a rollercoaster of triumphs, controversies, and managerial challenges. Besides facing multiple disciplinary actions, the former Newcastle United man has been convicted twice of violent crimes. Recently, he was under the spotlight, and for all the wrong reasons, yet again.

Once again, controversy surrounds Barton due to his social media activity, this time arising from derogatory remarks aimed at English television host and BBC Radio 2 presenter, Jeremy Vine. Barton’s ongoing online feud with Vine escalated as he recently made baseless accusations against him, labeling him as a ‘nonce’ in a series of tweets.

The conflict began when Barton voiced criticism toward a panel on the Jeremy Vine show, prompting Vine to characterize him as a ‘bit of a yobbo’. Vine then further elaborated on his response by suggesting that the former Manchester City player might be experiencing symptoms of a brain injury.

And you don’t really need anything more than that to trigger Barton. Consequently, he turned to X, formerly Twitter, and leveled serious accusations against Vine, accusing him of being a ‘pedophile.’ Alongside an image of Vine with disgraced TV presenter Rolf Harris, Barton commented: ‘Oh Jeremy Vine. Did you, Rolf-aroo, and Schofield go out on a tandem bike ride? You big bike nonce ya!’

Barton didn’t stop there. The next day, he further fueled the controversy by retweeting a post featuring a picture of Vine cycling, labeling him a “bike nonce” and suggesting, “If you see this fella by a primary school, call 999.”

This is what fueled the controversy further. The online feud escalated into a legal battle between the two, with what once appeared to be a rather childish dispute now reaching the courtroom for resolution.

The legal battle

Jeremy Vine didn’t hold back after Barton’s comments and has initiated legal action against the former Manchester City player.

Barton posted about the libel case on social media, sharing pictures apparently featuring legal documents and writing: “So @theJeremyVine is suing me… Fella who served me the papers was sound. Told me he completely agreed with me and to keep going.”. However, the pictures now seem to be deleted.

Among these documents was a notice indicating Vine’s intention to seek an urgent interim injunction against Barton if the alleged conduct continues. The letter emphasized the confidentiality of the document and warned against publication, especially on the internet. While Jeremy Vine has not responded to these legal accusations, reports suggest that he is being represented by Samuels Solicitors.

Barton, however, hasn’t backed down, asserting in another tweet on that Vine’s legal action “could easily cost me up to £500k.” He alleged that Vine’s lawyers initially demanded ‘£50,000 to charity and all his costs and apologies’, before claiming that the demands have escalated to ‘in excess of £250,000.

However, this marks the second libel case brought against Barton due to his recent activity on social media. TV pundit and former footballer Eni Aluko has joined forces with Vine and is suing him following an online attack concerning her family, which occurred after a series of social media posts about female football pundits and Aluko herself. Interestingly, both of them have hired the same solicitor.

In response to facing these legal actions, Barton has initiated a GoFundMe campaign. Titled “Championing Justice: Uniting Behind Joey Barton,” the page asserts that the former footballer “stands at the forefront of a battle for justice and fairness.” Barton claims that any funds raised will be donated to the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Trust.

He clarified, “The GoFund Me isn’t to defend against this. I will pay for my own defense. It could easily cost over £100k. It is to counter-sue him and hopefully take him to the cleaners.”

Weirdly enough, people have indeed stepped forward to donate to Barton’s cause. Just over an hour after Barton posted about the crowdfunding campaign, £1,380 of the target had been contributed. As of now, the sum stands at an impressive £10,000 in the pot within a single day.

What did the public have to say about it ?

Indeed, while Barton’s crowdfunding collection is quite impressive, it’s not necessarily indicative of widespread support for him on social media. The reason for this lies with Barton himself. Barton has a history of unnecessary and unpopular controversies, which has led many people to distance themselves from him.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that people aren’t unequivocally in support of Jeremy Vine either. He has also faced criticism for his not-so-“politically neutral” opinions and controversial comments in the past. The situation is nuanced, with various individuals being drawn to the drama rather than taking clear sides. Some even go as far as to suggest, akin to the highly publicized legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, that the feud between Vine and Barton should be televised.

If the general consensus is to be believed, people are disillusioned with both parties involved, expressing a sentiment that the real win would be if somehow both parties manage to lose. Some even go as far as wishing bankruptcy upon them both.

People have also questioned why public money should be involved in a legal battle between two individuals. Furthermore, there’s concern that Barton is leveraging public sentiment under the guise of charity for his own benefit. Many have pointed out that only if he successfully defends Vine’s legal action and is awarded damages will the charity actually benefit.

In a funny incident, an user provided a screenshot claiming that even Jeremy Vine’s brother Tim had donated 10 euros to Barton’s funding page. If true, it would be a cheeky move for sure, but chances are it’s some other user using his name for fun.

Despite all the saga, Barton appears to have a slight edge in the process due to the support he’s garnered on social media. However, at the end of the day, it’s up to the court system to sort out this matter. Regardless of the verdict, one thing that the judge should consider is suggesting that Joey Barton stay away from social media as much as possible.