VSI
Dallmeier

Business Directory

Browse the Directory

Sign Up to the Directory

Levy
FC Business Twitter
FC business Linked in
FC Business facebook
FC Business Youtube

Essex FA Warns Of Football’s Social Media Traps

Fri 13th Dec 2013 | IT & Technology

It’s a growing phenomenon in modern communication, but the Essex County FA have reminded grassroots clubs that it’s not just famous players at the top end of the game who need to use social media such as Twitter and Facebook appropriately, with the number of charges in Essex creeping into double figures during 2013.

All participants are required to act in the sport’s best interests at all times and they should be aware that their postings on networking sites are likely to be subject to public and media scrutiny. The Football Association recognises the use of such websites can be positive, but they ask that caution is exercised with the content of postings.

All comments on social networking sites may be considered public, and anything deemed improper which brings the game into disrepute could lead to disciplinary action. It is the responsibility of all football to reduce and eradicate threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting behaviour, and the interactive environment is no different.

Essex County FA Press & Publicity Officer, Chris Evans, agrees that care is required. “Social networking is incredibly useful and absorbing, and there is a lot of good practise in Essex where clubs, individuals and groups have put it to effective use,” he said. “Much like in everyday life, it’s crucial that we all pay extra attention to what we say. It’s easy to be misinterpreted, especially when you may only have 140 characters to use.”

Comments about match officials which imply bias and/or attack officials’ integrity in an overly personal nature are considered improper, as are remarks which include a reference to a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability would be considered an aggravating factor, and could attract a higher disciplinary sanction.

In addition, ‘retweeting’ another person’s post may lead to action if the original comment was unsavoury and deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting, whilst advisable, does not prevent disciplinary action being taken. An individual is strictly responsible for any posting on his or her account and participants should take every care to ensure that others do not access their login details, as this could reflect on the account holder.

In the last year in Essex, around ten charges have been raised for the inappropriate use of social networking. High profile cases have been raised by The FA, so people are aware of the potential consequences. Charges are raised as a ‘Breach of FA Rule E3 - Improper Conduct’ - in just the same way that they would be for dissent during a game.

Rule E3 states: “A participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute.” A participant is defined by The FA as “a competition, club, club official, player, match official, management committee member or member or employee of an affiliated club.”

As a result, if social networking content indicates offensive, insulting, abusive or threatening behaviour from one football participant to another, then the Essex County FA can take action. Charges which have been raised include threats to attempt to injure an opponent during a game, threats to attack someone as a result of game and general offensive comments directed towards opponents, either in a particular fixture or in a division.

Greg Hart, Governance Manager, has highlighted what somebody should do if they feel they have been the subject of inappropriate behaviour: “Whether it’s through social media, message boards, texts or written communications, then they should be making an official complaint to the parent County FA of the club which has instigated the inappropriate behaviour.”

“We’d request hard copies of the unsuitable actions - normally ‘screen shots’ - and also the URL relating to the behaviour. Then we’d investigate and then decide whether to raise charges or not. This would then go through the discipline process. If the club or individual disputes the charges and requests a personal hearing, the complainant would be invited to attend the commission as a witness for the Essex County FA.”

The FA have recognised the need for guidance on the topic and a document called ‘Tackling Social Media’ was published in 2012 following a noticeable increase in the volume of complaints and referrals received. A wealth of information and resources can be accessed for free as part of The FA’s ‘What’s Your Pitch’ microsite at www.thefa.com/my-football/football-volunteers/whatsyourpitch.

 

To access ‘Tackling Social Media’, visit www.essexfa.com. The Essex County FA also has a Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/EssexCountyFA, where some of the best contributions from other grassroots accounts are retweeted. Additionally, there is a presence on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EssexFootball.

 Posted by: Aaron Gourley

Tweet

To subscribe to our range of football newsletters including news, products and jobs CLICK HERE.

 

RETURN TO LATEST NEWS SECTION

SUBSCRIBE TO THE FCBUSINESS RSS FEED

If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk

Add to: Google Google | Yahoo Yahoo | Live Live | del.icio.us del.icio | Digg Digg |

Related Articles

‘BARÇA INNOVATION HUB’ Unveiled To The World

Thu 23rd Mar 2017 | IT & Technology

Representatives from Spanish giants FC Barcelona presented its ‘Barça Innovation Hub’ plans to a world audience on Wednesday. Hosted by FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu,...

KORE Software Opens New European Regional Office

Thu 23rd Mar 2017 | IT & Technology

Newly opened London-based office will supplement KORE’s Global Headquarters in New York City. Over the past 18 months, KORE has experienced rapid company expansion and increasing demand from...

AFC Bournemouth Announce Digital Partnership With Stadion

Thu 23rd Mar 2017 | IT & Technology

AFC Bournemouth has agreed a partnership which will see them develop a new-look digital platform set for launch in the summer. The south coast Premier League club has entered an agreement with Stadion...

ADI Showcase LED Perimeter Technology On European Tour

Thu 23rd Mar 2017 | IT & Technology

Stadium technology specialists ADI have embarked on a major European tour this month to showcase a new virtual replacement perimeter LED technology, developed in partnership with augmented reality...