THEPFA.COM

Members Area

Social Media

Social Media, Twitter

Social Media, How Does it Affect You?

The regulations:

  • A standard Premier League/Football League contract states at clause 3.2.5 that players must not knowingly or recklessly do, write or say anything which is likely to bring his club or the game of football into disrepute or cause the club or the player to be in breach of the Premier League / Football League rules. Breach of this clause could leave a player liable to a ban, a fine or even dismissal.
  • In addition, whilst clause 4.8 of the playing contract states that a player shall be entitled to make a reasonable reply to any media comment or published statement which is likely to adversely affect a player’s standing or reputation, this must only be done in a responsible manner and must not be done in a way which is likely to breach clause 3.2.5.
  • Similarly, The Football Association (“The FA”) confirmed by way of a circular sent to all clubs at the beginning of this year that comments posted on social networking sites can be considered public comment and if they are improper, threatening, abusive, indecent, insulting or may bring the game into disrepute then this may lead to disciplinary action. Furthermore, any postings which may be viewed in this way could also lead to civil proceedings being brought against a player by those affected. In addition, consideration should be given to the Club Rules or any specific social media club policies and any image rights agreements you may have.
  • It is evident from The FA’s disciplinary approach to the use of social media that both itself and the clubs are keen to ensure that their brand and reputation are not damaged by inappropriate use of such sites. As such, it is essential that you are fully aware of your rights and responsibilities when it comes to social media. The PFA has therefore created this guidance note to assist you.