It emerged this last week that Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has banned his players from using Twitter to communicate with fans. The news came just after Liverpool’s want away Dutch player Ryan Babel Tweeted about his omission from the Liverpool squad to play at Stoke last weekend.
Manchester United announced that it had laid down the law to its players, just in case any of them felt the urge to upload squad selections onto Twitter. A United statement indicated that none of the United players were allowed to:
maintain personal profiles on social networking websites.
United’s rivals in the second leg of the League Cup semi final, Manchester City, made a similar announcement this week stating that their players had been warned about using social networking websites.
Manchester United claimed that they have only advised their players against using social networking websites, but the Twitter accounts of Rooney, Fletcher and Giggs have gone. Giggs has also lost his Facebook account, as have Brown and Ferdinand.
There is debate over whether banning players from using sites such as Twitter and Facebook is a good idea, especially as they are so useful for reaching fans quickly – and of course for SEO. Liverpool’s Ryan Babel however may well have played his last game for the club following his Tweet last weekend, a Tweet that so angered manager Rafael Benitez.
Last August, Sunderland striker Darren Bent angered his then manager at Tottenham when he Tweeted about his proposed move to the Stadium of Light. Bent was fined £80,000 for his actions.