Twitter With Tony
There was a sense of the inevitability about Aston Villa owner Tony Xia being fined and challenged by the football authorities over his over zealous Twitter behaviour.
The FA declared that Xia’s comments in a tweet referring to Neil Taylor’s sending off in the 1-0 win against Bolton, “questioned the integrity of the match official and/or alleged and/or implied bias on the part of the match official, and/or brought the game into disrepute, contrary to FA Rule E3(1).”
Xia has since deleted his tweet, which stated:
“Is the ref a AVhater? Not our day but 3points only matters. Need keep going after the break. Consistency is the key this season.”
Admitting his misconduct, the Aston Villa chairman was fined £4,000 by the Football Association and warned about his conduct.
This is the second strike against the Villa board’s Twitter activity this season after Keith Wyness suffered a ban from the FA, after an ill-judged retweet.
At times ‘Twitter with Tony’ (immortalised on the MOMS Podcast) has been great fun and amusing, while he’s partly playing to his audience, there’s no doubt it has created a sense of supporter affection for their owner.
Improved communication via social media from the man at the top has also cut short a lot of media BS when it comes to transfer rumours and the like (although every one of his tweets is regurgitated into a local press story).
The FA fine will no doubt increase the bond between some Villa supporters and their owner.
There’s nothing like a bit of notoriety in the name of the club, to win over football supporters.
The £4000 maybe some of the best money he’s spent in terms of claret and blue PR.