Barnes, who appears on ITV’s Supermarket Sweep, has become outspoken on politics, particularly after the referendum four years ago. The 57-year-old is a household name and often a favourite among viewers – thanks largely to his stellar football career, which saw him collect a host of trophies during his stint playing for Liverpool Football Club. The winger – who went on to collect 79 England caps – has also been a regular on screen, most recently winning praise for his role alongside manager Harry Redknapp on ITV’s ‘Harry’s Heroes’.
And although he is often seen as a gentleman of the game, he is known for his brutal outbursts when politics becomes a talking point.
In one crunching encounter, Barnes – a vocal Remainer – was left furious at Mr Gove, who claimed the football legend was ready to back the Leave campaign.
At the time of the referendum, Barnes had voiced his opinion that Brexit “might help footballers… but not necessarily help the rest of the country”, before telling the Leave campaign he would not support their cause.
Yet, Mr Gove then “told the world Barnes was supporting the Leave campaign”, something the star said “was simply not true”.
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
In a comment piece for the Guardian, Barnes said there “might be strong arguments to say we should leave the EU for our sovereignty” because the likes of Germany and France “are bullying us to have more of a say in the EU than we do”.
He claimed that this may have let him support the Leave campaign, but added: “They talk about what makes Britain great. How we are morally right, the people who will do the right thing.
“Well that should be helping others in need, setting an example to the world – not running away at the first sign of trouble.”
The topic of how football will function when the UK has left the EU has continually been debated, with the likes of former Chelsea Football Club star Cesc Fabregas claiming it could hinder the game’s future.
JUST IN: Border POLL: Did Macron close borders to try and force ‘bad Brexit’?
This month, the Football Association (FA), Premier League and English Football League (EFL) issued a statement confirming the sport’s future and how clubs should approach the signing of overseas players post-Brexit.
The group’s plan said that after December 31, when the UK officially leaves the EU, clubs “will not be able to sign players freely from the EU”.
They added that “players from EU countries who wish to join the Premier League or EFL will be required to gain a Governing Body Endorsement”, which is a permit other overseas players without the right to work in the UK are issued with.
Fellow footballer Sol Campbell felt that the UK’s decision to quit the EU would give homegrown footballers a better chance of making the cut in the senior game.
Robert Peston warns ‘trust destroyed’ in Brexit trade talks [ANALYSIS]
MEPs ignore own deadline – promise to take any step to get Brexit done [UPDATE]
Brexit warning: Boris told to ‘pull the plug’ on EU trade talks -VIDEO [VIDEO]
He told the MailOnline amid the Brexit campaign: “The Premier League is in danger of becoming a free-for-all because, along with the star players, we are seeing teams load up with too many mediocre overseas footballers, especially from Europe, crowding out young English and British talent.
“Because of European rules on freedom of movement, it is virtually impossible for us to get a proper grip on the situation.
“If we want to see more English stars like Harry Kane rise through the ranks we should take back control.”
The clash with Mr Gove wouldn’t be the last time Barnes would become embroiled in debate regarding Brexit.
The former Celebrity Big Brother star was left red-faced after he claimed “the average person didn’t understand Brexit”, leading to fury from Brexit-backing writer Ella Whelan.
The author told Barnes that his comments were “dangerous because you’re essentially saying the average voter is thick”, during a heated discussion in 2019 on BBC Question Time.
Ms Whelan said: “I think Brexit is the best thing that has happened to British politics because it has thrown up so many questions.
“The idea that the average voter doesn’t understand it is where the kind of elitist anti-democratic politics the new party group comes from.”
Celebrity Supermarket Sweep is available on ITV hub.
Source: Read Full Article