Football News: Is Social Media ruining Manchester United and Football in General?

 

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Is Social Media ruining Manchester United and Football in General?
Image from: valigiablu.it

Maybe I'm just too old for the modern day culture of football, but even at 50 and as somebody that uses social media in work and for leisure I'm just growing so tired, bored and have now moved on to anger at how the Manchester United commercial department, and the players in particular have been drawn into this dark revenue generating monster.

Many see social media as a means of bringing the players and supporters closer, I'm afraid I don't. I feel it's creating a barrier, or maybe the skin of the bubble that players operate within. They post short videos of their lifestyles, oblivious to the social issues in the society that they hover above, and the alarming impact that this has on the health of children and young people.

I know there are other industries equally guilty but, Manchester United is Manchester United and should be to football what 'The Masters' is to golf. The cream, the elite. Not now though as we've become a logo that's slapped on any item that can be branded as well as an endless trickle of 'content'.

I thought - somewhat mistakingly in hindsight - that United would be above this. After all this is a club built on a working class heritage that endured and overcame many tragedies to flourish. Now though a large part of that soul has been sold for the follower, giving way to the new commercial dream of having more social media followers than any other franchise.

I feel deeply patronised that United's hierarchy believe that those interested in football matters seem to need to see Lingard, Pogba and their minions practicing goal celebrations. Does Pogba need one I ask myself? Taking dizzy penalties or singing songs in the car on the way to 'work'. There can be little doubt that this showman mentality is impacting on the character of the team on the pitch.

Maybe we would see more character in the side if matches were played behind closed doors and only streamed on social media. It worries me deeply that the commercial department welcome social media's elite into the club to help swell the ranks of followers for yet more commercial deals, whilst seeming not to care about the personalities that walk onto the pitch.

It's a cliche now that many of the characters from yesteryear would have trod on Pogba's phone weeks ago - and a part of me is sad that we may never see the likes of such personalities in the dressing room again.

My point is that there are many battles that Mourinho can win, however for me social media and the elite status that it creates in today's fame based culture is, for me, the number one cancer in the club that he will never overcome. Whilst Mourinho has his dossiers of player targets, I would imagine so does the commercial department.

I look at Griezmann and see another social media 'act', who sees goals purely as a celebration that can be branded, commercialised and endorsed by cosmetic companies. You have to wonder when is enough truly enough for these egos? What do they truly cherish the most? The medals that will sit in their own walk in shrines or their bank account. Don't get me wrong, every person has the right to be financially secure, however at what price and at whose expense?

I end by sharing my dream, the dream of a day when Pogba, Lingard and United awake to zero followers without there needing to be a Zombie Apocalypse. I know, its a fantasy not a dream, but sadly gone are the days when its the people in the stands that matter.

Social Media 1 - Football 0.

Written by Timbo



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