PremierLeague.com Mourinho gaffe shows peril of mistakes online

The official Premier League website this morning posted a news article “confirming” the return of Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, despite the news not being confirmed by manager, club or any other press. As it appears, the news story either looks like the work of an eager website journalist trying to pre-empt the event or inside information simply published too early.

The news article, swiftly deleted by the Premier League, stated,

“Jose Mourinho has returned to Stamford Bridge after agreeing to take over as Chelsea manager for the second time.”

Clearly not knowing the contractual terms, the article simply states that the “Portuguese coach is back at Stamford Bridge after signing a x-x year contract”.

mourinho

This isn’t the first time this month that an online department has jumped the gun in releasing content before it should’ve been. The announcement of David Moyes as Manchester United’s new manager was leaked before the club could break the news, when the Press Office Twitter account accidentally tweeted a link to a ‘still-in-development’ Facebook Page welcoming the new manager.

Both incidents go to show the danger that Social Media can cause in a remarkably short amount of time. The speed at which both stories swept across Social Media, with screenshots of the gaffes as both tried to delete their errors, meant that there was very little both the Premier League and United could actually do. As channels like Twitter become more and more credible and readily accepted as platforms to “break the news” – the importance of ensuring content is not released prematurely has only become more important.

Football clubs and governing bodies alike have to understand the shrewd and skilled nature of fans who will do anything to try find out a little more – even if that means scouting an entire website to find any unpublished stories. Furthermore, there has to be a rigorous procedure for publish releases, especially as a mistake such as this can cause problems to potentially months of PR planning and budget going down the drain.

Sean Walsh

Founder of Digital-Football.com and leading Football Social Media expert.

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