Leeds United: Avoiding a trip up on Twitter

As recently as September, Leeds United's players were untouched by Twitter.

Or uninitiated at the very least.

Through no official policy on the part of the club, their squad paid little heed to the Internet phenomenon.

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Four months later, Twitter's magnetism can be seen in the trickle of players who have wandered into a public relations minefield.

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Sanchez Watt was first to sign up, and several others have followed – Lloyd Sam, Kasper Schmeichel, Andy O'Brien and Mike Grella.

To date, the fun has been good and clean.

Leeds have never sought to prevent the use of Twitter and are unlikely to do so imminently.

It is not easy to justify a ban when their players are toeing the line and a club like Manchester United – the home of one of Twitter's more famous members, Rio Ferdinand – allow the squad at Old Trafford to tweet freely.

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Ferdinand in particular has made posting on Twitter accepted practice among professional footballers. Clubs across the country now share the task of limiting the impact of off-the-cuff remarks.

Earlier this month, QPR manager Neil Warnock restricted his players to discussing non-club matters on Twitter after a spate of messages attacking Blackburn's El Hadji Diouf.

Leeds are fortunate in so far as owning a squad which is free from bad apples and full of common sense.

There is still an understandable fear at Elland Road that it is only a matter of time before many hours are given to sweeping up the mess caused by 140 characters of text.

Ian Holloway

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