Twitter a ‘waste of time’ says Fergie

2011-05-20 11:42

Sir Alex Ferguson has joined the debate about footballers’ use of the social networking Twitter site by branding it “a waste of time”.

The veteran Manchester United manager was speaking at the end of a week in which his club’s high-profile forward Wayne Rooney attracted unwanted headlines for an online dispute with one follower.

Rooney was also embroiled in a spat with the broadcaster Piers Morgan, an ardent Arsenal supporter.

Earlier this season, United midfielder Darron Gibson opened a Twitter account only to close it within minutes after he received a large amount of abuse from his own club’s supporters.

After Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger warned his players of the potential “negative repercussions” involved with the use of Twitter this week, Ferguson is also conscious of the problems involved with such exposure.

“It’s about responsibility,” said Ferguson. “I think they (players) are responsible for their actions, what they say on Twitter.

“I don’t understand it, to be honest with you. I don’t have the time to do it. There are a million things you can do with your life other than that. Go to a library and read a book. I’m serious. What a waste of time.

“But they seem to have a certain momentum at the moment. Everyone seems to want to do it.

“I don’t understand it but it is something that we, as a club, are looking at because there can be issues attached to it and we don’t want that.”

Rooney, who had earlier vowed to “put to sleep” a fan who abused him on Twitter, later engaged in a spat with CNN chat show host Morgan.

Morgan, an avowed Arsenal fan, poked fun at Rooney following the player’s attendance at Manchester United’s awards night this week.

“What award did you win ... Fastest Transfer U-Turn of the Year After Big Cheque Arrived?,” Morgan wrote, referring to Rooney’s demand for a transfer earlier this season.

Rooney responded: “@piersmorgan did u win 1 for most boring show of the year. Stop hanging on to me pls. I don’t want to know u.”

Wenger had claimed that Twitter could be a positive phenomenon for high-profile players as it allows them to keep in touch with true fans – an argument with which Ferguson does not agree.

“It’s better if you just play well on the pitch,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ferguson revealed he is still hopeful that Paul Scholes will continue his career beyond next weekend’s Champions League Final against Barcelona.

Scholes is out of contract this summer and there is a strong school of thought that he will retire, meaning this weekend’s game against Blackpool may prove to have been his last at Old Trafford.

“I don’t think so,” said Ferguson of that prospect. “We will discuss it and, hopefully, encourage him to stay on another year. We will talk at the end of the year.”


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