Think before you tweet! Bradford City chief Lawn in dig at social networking sites (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Think before you tweet! Bradford City chief Mark Lawn in dig at social networking
The uneasy relationship between football and Twitter has reared its head again at Valley Parade.
City fans were still digesting the revelation straight after the Cheltenham game that David Syers had rejected a contract mid-season.
Then the midfielder himself took to his phone from the team coach to voice his discontent about what had been said.
Within an hour, Syers had tweeted twice more to clarify the position.
After a hasty chat with Phil Parkinson, he wrote off his earlier moan as simply a case of wires being crossed and maintained there was no beef with the boss.
But, as is often the case with Twitter, the damage had been done.
If I want to speak to my friends I will go out with them for a pint or a meal. I don’t have to check in every minute telling the world what I’m going to have for dinnerMark Lawn
Supporters “following” Syers had picked up on his initial complaint and the messages were flying around thick and fast.
The horse had bolted by the time he attempted to shut the stable door with the more conciliatory lines later on.
Both Syers and Parkinson maintain there is no ill-feeling between them. They will sit down together for a more in-depth conversation during the week.
But that first tweet from the player suggested, however wrongly, that there was some kind of divide. That was the perception to those receiving those 140 characters on their phones at Saturday tea-time.
Parkinson has said before that he has no problem with Twitter unless players divulge “sensitive” information. Revealing team or injury news – classified details that City don’t want the next opposition to pick up on – will lead to an automatic fine.
Joint-chairman Mark Lawn admits he is mystified by the obsession of using social networks. But it is difficult to police.
“I don’t think it’s professional,” he said. “Look at what happened with Rio Ferd-inand moaning about players diving all over the place and saying something’s got to be done.
“Then his mate (Ashley Young) does the same thing two games in a row and he doesn’t say anything.
“It’s like being a gossip. You keep saying things about this person and that and it will catch you out eventually.
“Players don’t need to do it. In your professional life, you should just keep counsel with yourself.
“I don’t agree with any of this social networking, whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or whatever.
“To me, it’s for people who haven’t got any real friends and you’re just talking to people you don’t know. But that’s a personal opinion.
“If I want to speak to my friends I will go out with them for a pint or a meal. I don’t have to check in every minute telling the world what I’m going to have for dinner. I know a lot people who do it but I just don’t understand why. I think it’s just craving attention.
“It’s obviously an age thing but I just find the whole social network idea is a bit silly.”
While players are warned what they can and cannot say – and there are guidelines drawn up by the PFA union for Twitter use – Lawn has no plans to write a blanket ban into future Valley Parade contracts.
He added: “I suppose you could do but we’ve not thought about doing it. It just seems a bit daft.
“To be fair, the players are not allowed to talk to the press without permission. So why should they be permitted to go public like that?
“I can understand why it would be an issue in the Premier League but it shouldn’t really be a problem at our level.
“I just don’t get the need for people to tell everyone about their business.”