The year is 2003, you wake up and go and collect your copy of the Sunday paper, in my case this was The Sunday Sun. You open it up, back page first obviously and proceed to read with interest the current goings on at your club. This is generally either a really happy, positive read or a very depressing one depending on which side of the winners post your side finished the Saturday before, or if you were playing on Sunday you would read the suggested team line ups and tactics with keen interest whilst supping your hot morning brew. It was an innocent time, there was no social media feeds to gander over and no pundits sticking their two pence worth in over twitter….Richard Keys I’m looking at you….
Skip forward 14 years and the scene is quite different. Yes of course times change, and social media is a fantastic platform for many things, including journalism….too a point. My main issue is how much mass panic is generated through outlandish rumours and information that is so falsified it’s unbelievable. Take the current goings on at our wonderful club, NUFC. We all know Amanda Staveley is in prime position to finally prise the slimy fingers of the rotund dictator who runs this historic sporting establishment away from its neck but that’s all we know. Literally. If you click onto twitter however it’s a completely different story, now I’m not referencing any genuine news groups here who simply surmise what might be happening, I’m talking about ex pros who are now given this huge platform that generally cook up complete tosh just to stoke the fans interest. I’m talking about ‘twitter ITK’s’ who have a worldwide connection to every agent going, dead or alive…. apparently. Can I just add, I can’t stand the term ITK and anyone that uses it should stand in the corner for 20 minutes, at least…. I digress.
So I’m starting to waffle a little, I apologise but in conclusion, here is the issue….It creates a lot more negativity than it does positivity. We all like a good scoop but we are far to easily lead, this creates fragmentation within supporter’s groups, it creates ‘he said this, but he said this’ scenarios and it generally helps absolutely no one, apart from those who get paid for clicks (you know the ones….) The social media age has been upon us for many years, over these years and certainly in terms of how it affects football I really don’t think it has done any good, if anything it’s trying to prevent us from being exactly what we strive to be. UNITED.