Chopra the latest to show Twitter is not the place to air your grievances with manager or club
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Never let it be said that footballers don't know about staying on message and living the brand. Step forward Michael Chopra, our latest social media miscreant.
This week Chopra somehow thought it would be a good idea to air his grievances with manager Paul Ince's training methods via Twitter.
According to The Telegraph, 'the former Newcastle United, Cardiff City and Sunderland centre-forward had been told to come in for extra training on Tuesday by Ince', but was unimpressed with what he found.
Chopra, engaging mouth before brain, rather hastily tweeted: “F***ing joke this came into training only 6 f***ing players here then find out the fitness coach taken (sic) the football session #joke.”
Once flagged, the offending tweet was deleted. However, by then the damage had already been done. It showed divisions in the camp between Ince and Chopra and suggested that the club had little control over its star players to the outside world. In speaking out Chopra had failed to realise that his line was, in effect, the club's line - therefore risking further potential unrest in the club whilst at the same time upsetting sponsors and causing reputational damage to the club.
So, after a rap across the knuckles and £10,000 fine you'd think Chopra would have erred on the side of caution when it comes to Twitter from now on, right?
Nope. On Thursday, as reported by Sky Sports, he was back at it, taking to Twitter to let people know he'd been banned from training. "Nice little gym work out with @TheSpencer at the @bfchotel2012 as I'm not allowed at training time to get fit and get back to my best," he said.
What does this tell us about footballers and Twitter? Well, in this instance Chopra clearly understands Twitter is a public forum and was using it to make his feelings known to the fans, but did he really comprehend the bigger picture for himself and the club? Clearly not.
That second tweet implies the club isn't giving him the best chance and again opens divisions to the general public. As a sports business Blackpool clearly needs to pay closer attention to what its players and staff are allowed to say via public channels and meter this accordingly. Clear social media training and properly set out guidelines could have stopped Chopra in his tracks and left him to concentrate on getting up that goals tally for the season and giving Ince and the fans something to really smile about. Those tweets, like his goal return, simply aren't good enough.