In a week when Facebook hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, a football club from Spain reminded us that Twitter can also be a nightmare if you get it wrong with a botched tweet about their history. The episode shows both the importance of getting details right on social media, and how responding to mistakes with humour can be beneficial.
It might surprise modern football fans to find out that before the introduction of the penalty shootout, what to do in a cup match where the two teams had finished level was something of a conundrum. One option was simply to keep replaying the tie until somebody won, and in a 1971 FA Cup clash, Alvechurch and Oxford City faced each other six times before a winner could be found.
Of course, that was not a very practical solution, especially in European football, where thousands of miles of travel were involved and games were decided by an aggregate score over two legs. These ties needed settling a lot more quickly, but for a long time, the best way anyone could think of doing this was to toss a coin.
One such instance happened in 1967, 51 years ago last Thursday to be exact, and was remembered by the Twitter account of Spanish club Real Zaragoza last week. Zaragoza were the unfortunate team to miss out on a place in the semi-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup that year because the coin didn’t land the right way up for them.
2-0 en la ida y 2-0 en La Romareda. pic.twitter.com/fov1zolm0k
— Real Zaragoza 🦁🤍💙 (@RealZaragoza) March 22, 2018
It’s a great thing to tweet about – a historic curiosity sure to get people talking. The Segunda División club also remembered to include the handle of the opposition as well, which is always likely to result in a retweet.
The only problem was that they got the opposition wrong – the club that went through was not Celtic, but bitter Glasgow rivals Rangers.
How did Celtic respond to this? In the best way possible.
🤷♂️ Sorry, wasn’t us.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) March 22, 2018
The Scottish side’s response corrects the inaccuracy, but does so in good humour. There’s a slight reference to their rivals, made delicately by not naming them, and a reference to their own exploits in Europe that year. It’s an example of excellent opportunism in social media in that Celtic were wrongly included in a tweet, but have made the best of the situation.
Perhaps due to the language barrier though, it appears that Zaragoza still haven’t got the message, as they have yet to delete or correct their tweet.