Sam Allardyce advocates united stance on social media after Swansea boycott

Phil Blanche, PA
·3-min read

Sam Allardyce has backed Swansea’s boycott of social media and believes the fight against online abuse would benefit by the whole of English football following suit.

But Allardyce says he understands how the deep financial concerns of clubs amid the coronavirus pandemic could prevent that from happening.

Swansea have decided not to post any social media content for seven days, with the Sky Bet Championship club declaring “enough is enough” after months of players being targeted online.

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Three Swansea players – Yan Dhanda, Ben Cabango and Jamal Lowe – have been among that number and the club’s chief executive Julian Winter has written to Twitter and Facebook urging the introduction of tougher policing and punishments for those found guilty of sending online abuse.

Swansea’s Championship rivals Birmingham joined them on Thursday evening, with the Blues saying they would not be posting across official channels for seven days.

West Brom boss Allardyce said: “I would like an accumulation of football clubs across the board to all do it together.

“That would for me be the only way that a difference may be made, if a united front was put up by all 92 professional clubs.

“But, of course, if that meant losing revenue over survival and, trying to help on these abusive messages, the money may override that unfortunately.

“There’s a lot of people in a lot of trouble financially because of the pandemic. So if they don’t go that way I can understand it.”

Brighton’s former Swansea manager Graham Potter congratulated his old club over their stance on social media.

“I support their decision because it’s based on what they know about their club and what’s the right thing to do for their players,” Potter said.

“Congratulations to them for making a stand and deciding what is right for them. I certainly wouldn’t be against it.

“We’ll keep assessing the situation, see what we can do to affect it, because at the moment it doesn’t feel like we’ve got the right environment.”

Southampton v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – St Mary’s
Brighton manager Graham Potter congratulated his former club Swansea on their stance over social media (Glyn Kirk/PA)

Fulham manager Scott Parker and Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl both supported Swansea’s decision and urged social media companies to police platforms better.

Parker said of social media: “I don’t want to engage in it. It gives people a platform to make stupid comments that I don’t want to be around, listen to and hold no value to me whatsoever.

“Do I see more teams like Swansea making a stand? Yes for sure, because things are not getting stopped and you’ll still get stupid people who think they can hide behind a computer screen and be very abusive.

“By making this stand these companies will act rather than talk about it.”

Ralph Hasenhuttl File Photo
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says he is not a friend of social media (Peter Byrne/PA)

Hasenhuttl added: “I am not a friend of social media. It is an easy way to get a voice of blaming somebody and a very easy way of putting racist words out there.

“This is definitely something which this social media (companies) must control and finally stop it. It is definitely something which we have to take very seriously.”

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, one of the few black managers in English professional football, said: “I think it’s an individual decision of each and every one of us.

“Who decides they should boycott social media should do so. Others don’t feel the need and it must be a freedom of decision.

“If the clubs decided as a unit, I support it. But I cannot speak about Wolves because we are not considering any kind of situation now.”