Manager Dave Jones admits he can offer no defence for Jay Bothroyd’s Twitter rant at angry Sheffield Wednesday fans last weekend and says the loan striker was ‘stupid’ for getting involved.
After being booed by a section of supporters following his substitution late on in the 2-1 home loss to Bolton Wanderers, Bothroyd received criticism on social media, some of it abusive.
An angry Bothroyd, who joined the Owls in August, promptly defended himself and referred to some critics as ‘thick’ in a post, later withdrawn, which said: “How can you say I don’t care? You lot are ******* thick....the select few obviously.”
Wednesday are to deal with the matter internally, with Jones refusing to comment on whether the forward – who has failed to find the net in three outings for the club – has been fined.
The Football Association are also looking into the incident, having visited around 60 clubs in the summer to remind managers and players of their responsibilities with regard to Twitter.
Owls boss Jones feels there is a ‘right time and a wrong time’ for using Twitter and, much as managers have a cooling-off period straight after games in which they are not able to talk to officials, his view is the players should show common sense and not use social media in the immediate aftermath of matches.
He said: “You get into arguments and discussions with people and can say something you regret in the heat of the moment. And the best (worst) time to catch somebody on Twitter is straight after a game.”
He continued: “That is why managers are not allowed to see the referee until 45 minutes after a game because if things have not gone your way, you are seething.
“Jay should have known better; he is old enough. “If it had been one of the younger players, you can understand it. He got embroiled in it.
“I have got no sympathy for anybody who goes on these websites and says something (like that).
“Jay should not have got involved. He has no defence and I have no defence for him for it.
“I think it is stupid what he did, and one thing you do not go up against is the fans because it has gone from one argument – say with one fan – and then the 28,000 (crownd) think it is all against them. But that is not what it was about.
“I think he is sorry that he has done it. He will probably pay for it, not just from this football club, but the FA as well.
Bothroyd last night offered mitigation for his comments, saying he reacted after someone said he did not care ‘because nothing could be further from the truth’.
He added: “I care passionately about my game and I care about the club that I play for. Yes, I get frustrated, but that is because I am desperate to do well.
“I was responding to the people who were being abusive. I did actually say the select few, but I must make it clear in no shape or form was I referring to all the fans.”
He concluded: “I am fully focused at Sheffield Wednesday and can’t wait to get on the scoresheet.”