QPR midfielder Barton, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge, was discussing the lack of a coaching culture in the game, pointing out that former Manchester United boss Ferguson was a manager and not a training-ground coach.
“We rate managers but we don't rate coaches in this country,” former Manchester City, Newcastle and Marseille man Barton said. “I don't mean to disrespect Sir Alex Ferguson - he was a great manager but he couldn't put on a coaching session to save his life.
“He couldn't even put out the cones. There is a big difference between a coach and a manager.”
Barton added that this attitude to coaching and the development of young players runs through the English game, at federation level too.
He went on to question FA chief Greg Dyke’s strategy to create a panel of experienced English coaches to guide player development, because the FA itself has a limited role in elite football.
“The English national team are s**t. What's the point of this commission? It's quite a smart move if you're Greg Dyke because you've got eight other people in front of you when we fail at the next World Cup and it's a smart move from the Premier League to isolate themselves from it.
“I just don't get it. (Greg Dyke should) at least have the balls to say: ‘This is what I want to do and how I'm going to do it.’
“The FA is archaic. It is completely and utterly out of its depth. It doesn't even run the major league in our country. The Premier League is in a massive battle, really, because they don't really care about English football. They care about the PL and the PL as a product.
“The FA's responsibility is to care about English football and English football's development but they have no power bar banning players.”
Barton added that England’s expectations outweigh ability, saying that the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ of David Beckham and Michael Owen was comprised of good but not great individuals.
The club success of English players, Barton believes, is down to foreigners – both on and off the pitch.
“I don't think we have great players. They've won titles but it doesn't mean they're necessarily great players. They play with great foreign players.
“People go on about the 'Golden Generation' but I don't think we have had that because they haven't won anything.
“We have had good players who we have given to good coaches which have been mostly good foreign coaches who have developed our good players to become better.
“Look at Jose Mourinho with Lampard and Terry, or Rafa Benitez with Steven Gerrard. When they go to the national team they sort of get lost a bit. We are giving good players to mediocre (English) coaches.”
Barton proposed a solution – young players should be thrown into more competitive environments at an earlier age, to prepare them for both the Premier League and international football. Currently the options are to play reserve or academy football, or to be farmed out on loan to lower-league clubs which – while in a competitive environment – may not be the highest standard technically.
“'We need more English players playing football, not this academy s**t. It's non-football. It does not prepare you for real football when there are mortgages and livelihoods on the line. There's no devilment in it.
“You have talented kids but they're never immersed in the real world of football. I think there's a real big issue.”