Written by Joe Toal • Published 22nd April 2014
In the end, the announcement was short and sweet. A bit like David Moyes’ Manchester United tenure, minus the sweet part.
Following a day of rumours and deafening silence from those at the club, United officially announced the sacking of David Moyes on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
BREAKING: Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club. (part 1 of 2) #mufc
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 22, 2014
With two tweets, the club announced the Scot’s departure and thanked him for all his efforts. A third tweet was shared an hour later to confirm that Ryan Giggs will take temporary charge.
BREAKING: The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role. (part 2 of 2) — Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 22, 2014
It seemed a rather laid back and impersonal way of announcing a manager’s departure. Was it the right thing to do?
On the face of it, yes. Social media represents the quickest way to break news. It has fast become the official mouthpiece of countless organisations the World over.
What swifter way to brief both press and fans alike than a short tweet to 2.5 million followers to confirm Moyes’ departure? Why bother with the old-fashioned and drawn-out formality of relaying a lengthy statement to the gathered media when 140 characters will do?
It’s not as if David Moyes learnt his fate via the tweets; he had been informed of his removal at the club’s training ground earlier that morning, though he surely knew his time was up as long ago as Sunday in the aftermath of United’s 2-0 defeat away to his former club, Everton.
Having said that, the Club has made little effort elsewhere to explain their decision. On manutd.com this morning, the club’s official website, their statement regarding Moyes’ departure is just a copy and paste job of their tweets, whilst the article introducing Giggs reads almost like a passing comment.
The role of Twitter in Moyes’ drawn out sacking cannot be underplayed. Yesterday evening, amidst the uncertainty, Man United’s Rio Ferdinand decided to stoke the fire with a series of antagonising tweets. First, he decided to share his Monday night ‘Reggae vibes’ a song aptly named ‘Rumours’. Then, the centre-back decided to voice his opinion on the growing rift between players and fans. He signed off by gloating that those on his Twitter timeline were ‘biting like pitbulls’.
We are in a day and age where players are forbidden from having emotions..and we wonder why the distance between players & fans is widening.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) April 21, 2014
Elsewhere, journalists seemingly in the know shared their crumbs of information first and foremost on the network. Mark Ogden of the Telegraph tweeted tantalisingly about Moyes’ future before the paper had even broken the news.
Moyes to be sacked
— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) April 21, 2014
One can only wonder what Sir Alex Ferguson would make of it all. Regardless of the fact that Moyes was Fergie’s hand-picked successor, the old Scot was a huge opponent of social media.
He labelled Twitter a ‘waste of time’ in 2011, suggesting that a footballer’s presence on such networks can only invite scandal. It wasn’t until Ferguson retired last May that the Club launched their Twitter profile, the club seemingly free from the shackles to enter the 21st century form of communication.
Perhaps once the dust has settled and David Moyes releases his own statement will we get a proper insight from the club, but for now it seems all we have to go on is three tweets. No messing.