Chief Exec of Scottish FA quits Twitter as pressure grows

In an interesting twist to the whole Rangers FC liquidation saga, SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan deleted his official Twitter account after enduring a week of pressure, abuse and questioning.

Regan has been under pressure from Scottish football fans and the media all week after a vote of no confidence was held motioned by Scottish clubs over his handling of the Rangers fiasco. In particular, Regan has endured a week of social media backlash – with many users tweeting a wide variety of demands from calls for his resignation to general personal abuse.

Regan, usually a supremely active Twitter user, was one of the few senior officials in the football industry to use social media to interact directly with fans, journalists and clubs.

His self-served exile from Twitter is an interesting development in Football Social Media and highlights some of the challenges that the game faces in the social media age. Regan should be applauded for using social as a way to make himself more accessible for football fans and put a face on the SFA. However, his swift account deletion is not the way to deal with negativity.

Unless Regan is on the brink of resignation – as he may well be – removing himself from Twitter will only be perceived as “running away” by both the media and fans. This will be a heavy blow to his personal resumé and reputation.

Instead, the SFA (and Regan) should have a social media crisis policy and procedure in place that would outline exactly what should happen in scenarios like this e.g. whether a statement is issue, radio silence or PR people begin to take over. At the very least other football associations, bodies and clubs can take this as an example of what to do (and not do) when you come under fire.

Sean Walsh

Founder of and leading Football Social Media expert.

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