Expanded Twitter means footballers need to raise their social media game

The dreaded change will soon infect players up and down the land…


If you’re a regular Twitter user, you won’t fail to have missed the latest controversy on the globally-popular conversation conduit, as users are soon to be allowed to tweet using 280 characters instead of the classic, tried-and-trusted 140.

However, if you’re NOT a Twitter user and are considering signing up to see what all the fuss is about, all I can say to you is don’t – Twitter is a seething hive of scum and villainy, the closest thing to an open sewer that you can have in the comfort of your own home.

It is an arena where the absolute worst of all human traits are mixed together into some kind of putrid broth. And thanks to the new character limits, there’ll soon be twice as much of it all.

But if that doesn’t put you off, please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @profanityswan.

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What will the new Twitter character limit mean for the world of football? Social media has already changed the relationship between player and fan immeasurably. We are now privy to tweets and Instagram posts lifting the lid on their enviable lifestyles, with glimpses of everything from their top-of-the-range cars to their top-of-the-range back-up cars.

Back when I was a lad, footballers were far more accessible to the fans.

Players would all drive around in sponsored cars with their names emblazoned along the side and a tannoy system screwed to the roof would shout ‘footballer coming, footballer coming’ as they pootled along the road. They were also forbidden from driving at more than ten miles per hour, so that young fans could clamber on to the bonnet and stare at them while they drove.

What’s more, FA law stated that one player was legally obliged to live on every street corner within a mile radius of their home ground. Closing their curtains was forbidden too, and we would all gather around outside their living room windows and peer in at them as they watched TV, did a crossword or had bog-standard, but frequent sex with their wives or girlfriends.

In a way, all of that has gone now, replaced by the impersonal and sickening world of social media. So, I got to wondering if any of the classic footballer tweets of recent times could have been improved with the aid of a larger, 280-character Twitter canvas. Hmmm…

Could easily have been…

I had spaghetti and it was very nice i enjoyed it and i also had some garlic bread too but not the kind with cheese on because cheese makes me dizzy and i also had some red juice because it is my favourite and i pretend i am dracula when i drink it like it is red blood yum
4:45 pm – 7 May 2012

Then there’s…

Which could have been enhanced thus…

Whitney has passed away. RIP u will live on forever. Cant believe it. I wanna run to u. Really cant believe this. I need my favourite Whitney album now, The Best Of Whitney. Oh Whitney. Whitney, Whitney, Whitney. It looks funny when you see it written down lots of times. Whitney
2:39 am – 12 Feb 2012

Change it to…

Can you tweet something like:
Unbelievable support yesterday and great effort by the lads! Hard result to take! But we go again! Great, cheers. I’m off to fill my empty jacuzzi right up with tenners and writhe around in it for a bit. Then a curry.
2:24pm – 23 Oct 2016

Having said that, footballers need to raise their social media game on the whole.

How about some of them fix a GoPro camera on their foreheads at 2.55pm on a Saturday afternoon before they go up the tunnel, and then stream their entire performance on Facebook Live.

Their Instagram efforts are pretty shoddy too, when you compare them to the true masters of the medium.

Are any Premier League stars prepared to go the extra mile and start videoing themselves smashing their mushes into different types of bread, like the wildly popular Breadface woman? I doubt it.

Then there’s the pimple-popping phenomenon. What a way for the under-19 stars to become household names before they’ve even kicked a ball at the top level!

Footballers, I am available for social media consultancy. As I said earlier, @profanityswan on Twitter…

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