DM: Ferguson warns players over Twitter conduct

‘Players have been Twittering for years,’ says the 70-year-old, but admitted that club policy was unlikely to change.

Image: Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Press Association Images

MNACHESTER UNITED MANAGER Alex Ferguson has expressed concern over his players’ use of Twitter but said his club rules will not be tweaked.

It comes in the wake of the FA’s decision to fine Rio Ferdinand £45,000 (€57,000) for his now infamous ‘choc ice’ re-tweet, which referred to Chelsea defender Ashley Cole.

Cole had given evidence on team mate John Terry’s behalf, during the former England captain’s recent trial for racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton.

Terry was found not guilty in court, but Ferguson said he was not surprised by the FA’s decision to make an example of Ferdinand.

“I think that it was almost certain to happen. They want to put a closed door on this kind of thing. One of the things that surprises me it that players have been ‘Twittering’ for years, for ages, and the never seemed to be challenged by the FA,” Ferguson said.

“I think his status in the game has caused that. Who he plays for is perhaps another issue. But Twitter – I don’t understand it. I don’t know why anyone can be bothered with it – but it’s there, and we as a club have given instructions to the players. They cannot talk about Manchester United.”

Ferdinand (@RioFerdy5) has over three million followers on Twitter and decided not to appeal against the FA’s punishment – the largest they have issued for such a transgression.

Ferguson, 70, may not need of another way to stay in touch with the masses, but he has urged his players to be cautious.

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“Although Rio’s mature, he has still got to remember that one word can make a difference in these things. And of course, you can’t take it back. Once it’s there it’s there,” the Scot said.

Both Ferguson and Ferdinand will hope to put Twitter behind them when they start the new Premier League season away at Everton on Monday.

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