by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Following several cases of misguided tweets, threats and counter-threats via Twitter, and other incidents, the Premier League has released guidelines on how players will use social media from henceforth. The document covers advice on endorsement of brands, goods and services and bars the players from revealing confidential details about their teams.
“Social media is doing a good job of allowing fans to feel closer to the players,” Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said.
“Clearly it isn’t the same as texting your best mate or talking to someone.”
Although some teams have already put in place regulations, other top-flight teams asked for more guidance for their players.
“There is a more human side now to some of the players and the public can communicate more directly with them,” Scudamore added. “Sometimes there can be abusive comments, but generally the internet, online chat rooms, and the way people are communicating, is healthy.”
The Premier League guidelines include disciplinary measures that will be taken by the Football Association, against players who violate the rules or makes improper comments on social media.
Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, is the latest player to be fined by the FA, but Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand, a keen Tweeter, has risen to the defence of players on social media.
“Twitter is something that lets fans get a bit closer to you by letting them see you do everyday things – just giving them a glimpse of what you get up to,” Ferdinand said in Shanghai, during United’s pre-season tour. “I treat it [Twitter] as fun. I don’t take it too seriously, to be honest.”