The current state of the English game has been a topic of debate for many but a man in the know having played for England, Liverpool and Watford has experienced more than most throughout his career. John Barnes.
Ranging from his outrageous goal for England against Brazil right through to back heeling bananas off the pitch in action for Liverpool, Barnes has experienced a lot.
Speaking to Clare Balding about racism, Barnes says: "If people were going to try and dis-empower me by racially abusing me, I would be like, well you can’t be talking about me, because the perception you have of me is not the perception I have of myself and so it was like water of a duck's back.
"Honestly it never affected me at all because I was a fully empowered person.”
The English superstar also spoke about modern day players wearing coloured football boots and how he says it suggests a player thinks he is more important than the team.
He adds: "If you are wearing coloured boots what is your attitude in terms of wanting to stand out?
"From a team perspective everybody is the same and it’s much more important for the players to buy into that regardless of whether they wear coloured football boots or not."
Finally, Barnes talks about the nature of funding a football club which has dramatically changed over the past decade.
“If you’re going to pay players £250k per week," he explained. "No matter what money you earn you’re not able to do that. You talk about making a football club profitable you can’t."
John Barnes was speaking on The Clare Balding Show, to see the full interview tune in to BT Sport 1 at 9pm on Saturday 11 January.
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