Ladbrokes have apologised to Burnley for a message posted on social media which contained a rude gesture towards the club’s players Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor.
Wood and Taylor predictably came in for abuse from some fans of their former club Leeds when the sides met in the Carabao Cup.
But after Leeds won a penalty shootout 5-3 to advance to the last 16, the pair were also the target of “very poorly conceived tweets” from Ladbrokes, even though the bookmakers are Burnley’s official UK betting partner and sponsor the Cricket Field Stand at Turf Moor.
One message posted on the official Twitter account of Ladbrokes was addressed to Wood and Taylor, followed by an image of a raised middle finger and the words: “Yours sincerely, Leeds fans #LUFC.”
In a statement, Ladbrokes said: “They were very poorly conceived tweets which we have since deleted.
“It was only intended to be a bit of fun but failed completely in that regard, and we have apologised to Burnley FC and would like to sincerely apologise to any fans of the club that took offence.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche had been disappointed to hear Wood and Taylor “get slaughtered” by Leeds fans after their switch from Elland Road in the summer.
Wood scored twice from the penalty spot after coming off the bench, once in normal time to help force a 2-2 draw and again in the penalty shootout.
“It’s a strange business, football,” Dyche said. “Twenty-odd million they’ve made for a club (in transfer fees) and they get slaughtered. I don’t know any more how fans react to players, ex-players, all that stuff, but that’s football now.
“Those two have been fantastic servants to Leeds, if I’m honest. But Woody has done fantastically, walking on to our pitch and scoring, and again in the shootout.”
Burnley last appeared in the final 16 of the League Cup in 2014 but could easily have remained in the draw had they taken one of a handful of first-half chances which fell to Scott Arfield, Sam Vokes or Ashley Barnes.
Instead they had to scramble for extra-time, Wood and Robbie Brady levelling in a frantic final period after goals from Hadi Sacko and Pablo Hernandez.
“There’s never a lack of will and demand from the group, my only gripe is the amount of opportunities we created,” said Dyche.
“The game should have been done in 90 minutes. That is where we’re still shifting forward, that final moment of real quality. When you look up the Premier League ladder they find that final moment.”
Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen, whose side can now harbour hopes of a cup run to go with maintaining top spot in the Sky Bet Championship, reserved a special word of praise for his goalkeeper.
Andy Lonergan was making his second Leeds debut between the posts having re-signed for the club this year and marked the occasion with a match-winning penalty save from James Tarkowski - the only miss from nine attempts.
“Andy made an important save to put us in the next round,” said the Dane.
“I have a very good goalkeeper there and he proved it. I was a little bit anxious to see him in action because he has had a very good attitude in training. My expectations of him were fulfilled.”