SATURDAY DECEMBER 16, 2017
 
Blog SPORTS EXTRAS
WHEN SOCIAL MEDIA KICKS BACK: FOOTBALLERS WHO WERE FINED BY THE FA FOR THEIR TWEETS
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There are few football fans nowadays without Twitter, it’s prevalent throughout the game and is now an integral tool for clubs to communicate with their fans.

Fans also have the opportunity to follow their favorite player, and there are approximately 378 past and present top flight players on the social media site.


Players often like to tweet just as much as fans do, however whilst it can be a useful platform, if used in the wrong way, players can often land themselves in hot water.

Many players have been fined by their club and by the FA for offensive tweets. Robert Huth currently stands to win a Premier League medal but last season he was reprimanded by the FA and suspended for two games. Huth breached an FA rule concerning gender reassignment.

Rio Ferdinand was also fined and banned for breach of an FA rule on Twitter. The defender used the term “sket” and was subsequently fined £45,000 and suspended for three matches. Ferdinand was also fined £45,000 in 2012 for calling former England team-mate Ashley Cole something equally as unsavory

Ferdinand and Huth are just a couple of Premier League players amongst the handfuls who have received punishment for their misuse of Twitter. In 2014 it was revealed that the FA have collected £350,000 in fines in incidents relating to Twitter. 

Twitter can also be used to improve the profile of a club or player. Bournemouth left-back Tyrone Mings received praise after he noticed a fan couldn’t afford tickets, and tweeted him to say he’d left him a pair at the ticket office.

It gives the players an opportunity to thank their fans for their support and in turn, fans can also offer players their support. Harry Arter revealed that he received thousands of messages of condolences following the tragic passing of his baby daughter, and that he read each and every one of them.

logo.jpgThere is no doubt in that Twitter has brought fans and players closer but that may not always be a positive. Players have often used Twitter to host Q and As, which have sometimes backfired. Phil Jones is just one of aa few players who have hosted sessions and been bombarded with sarcastic questions, from bemused fans or fans of rival teams.

However, as mentioned, Twitter can have a positive effect. Clubs can also use the site as at a platform to create a buzz for an upcoming game, tweeting statistics and uploading photos of players for the game.

They can also use to assist the wider community as clubs often run competitions to win free tickets, or signed memorabilia, hence Twitter has helped to bridge the gap between fans and supporters.

Some fans have actually gone one step further by using social media statistics in creative online graphics. The social media XI by Thatsagoal.com for example was created with the most followed stars in the Premier League, and not one player in the 11 was not associated with a team that would be considered to play for the traditional top four. Fans can now see what Wayne Rooney is eating for lunch, what he’s wearing a match-day and how he likes to spend his days off.

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