Darren Bent, former Tottenham Hotspur and now Sunderland striker recently caused a storm on Twitter with a foul mouthed rant against Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
The tweets, in response to transfer speculation, said:
“Why can’t anything be simple? It’s so frustrating hanging around doing jack s**t. Seriously getting p***ed off now.”
“Do I want to go to Hull City, no. Do I want to go to Stoke, no.”
“Do I want to go to Sunderland, yes. So stop f*****g around, Levy.
This is the first instance of a footballer using the service to essentially blackmail his club into bending to his wishes.
Bent was fined £120,000 for his outburst. That’s two week’s wages by the way.
Bent has since got his wish and moved to Sunderland where he will be carrying the Mackems’ hopes of pushing for Europe this season.
So the question here is, was Bent foolish, or did he know exactly what he was getting himself into, and is it right?
Brands are now finding themselves accountable to consumers because of the new found openness of Twitter as a platform, and this is leading to better customer service in some cases. Should football clubs however, find themselves in the same position from want away players?
If I tweeted that I wanted to leave my job, I’d expect to find myself out of the door and my contract cancelled, and it would be understandable that my employer would not want to see me again. Bent has in effect done exactly this, but has manoeuvred a move that will earn him more money per week.
Player-power is huge in football, with players (and managers) moving clubs for greater wages a common occurrence. Should they be allowed to have a further diktat in how much money they earn and what they get out of the game, using the micro-blogging service?