Former Manchester United and England striker Michael Owen believes that people should not draw straight comparisons between football and the London Olympic Games.
The state of English football has come under criticism following the success of the recent Games, where Great Britain won 29 gold medals, 17 silver and 19 bronze.
Owen, who responded to Barton via Twitter, said: "I agree that football has lost touch with reality slightly but lets get it right - If you were playing at an away ground and went to hug the spectators like Usain Bolt etc you would struggle to get out alive.
"Not to mention the tirade of abuse every footballer gets once in ear shot of the crowd. We are talking about a totally different audience and like it or not, a ground isn't the most pleasant of places in the world. I certainly wouldn't take my kids to watch a match.
"It's OK blaming footballers but in my opinion it's the whole culture of football that needs to change if the Olympics is going to be the guiding light. As I've said, it's easy to lambast footballers but they are normal people."