The news that I (and many other United fans) had dreaded finally arrived this morning. Twitter had been awash with rumours of his immanent departure since last night when The Telegraph went with an exclusive article.
The news was posted on Twitter and quickly stirred much debate. Initially there was a dismissive feel to it but when more facts became clear it sent the Twitterverse into overdrive. No comment was made by the club which only added to the rumours, though this was of no surprise due to the stock listing in NYC that meant that any change would have to be disclosed to them first.
Then it happened. At around 9.17am the only Manchester United presence on Twitter (there is no official team account, only the Press Office) tweeted a simple short message that left no doubt.
The move by the club shows how the platform has become the number 1 place to break news. It is where all the press have a presence and where clubs have been able to enable some kind of control over their ‘brand’. Players use it to have a voice whilst clubs will always use it for marketing and PR (not so much engagement goes on still).
As soon as the new broke it sent Twitter into meltdown. People like myself posting messages of disbelief and thanks to a manager who is without doubt the most successful manager ihn the history of the game in England. I’ve been a fan for over 25 years and have only ever known one manager. It’s a day we’ve feared will one day inevitably arrived but we didn’t want to happen yet (if ever).
A little after this post was first published I was sent a neat infographic from the guys at Simplyzesty. It shows the reaction over a longer period of time and some more details of Facebook as well. Make sure you have a read of their full article on the announcement here.
Taking a quick look at the stats (via Topsy) you can see when the story first broke late last night and then when the official announcement was made. A total of over 300k mentions in half an hour shows how people from around the world were talking about it.
The use of the hashtag by the club was nicely done and lead it becoming the number 1 trending topic in the world. At one point 8 out of the 10 trends were related to it and in there was the name David Moyes. Once the initial shock receded then the next obvious step was to start speculating over who will take over.
The bookies favourite is Moyes, the Everton manager who has managed to over deliver almost every year for the last 11 years. Will he succeed and be up to the task? Will it be Jose Mourinho, someone who has shown no secret as to his desire to manage at Old Trafford when Sir Alex calls it a day? Or an outsider such as the successful Jurgen Klopp from Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund?
It is rumoured that his successor will be announced within the next 48 hours so we will wait and see. It’s going to be a nervous time to firstly see who gets it and then if they can carry on from where Sir Alex left off. Taking another snapshot from Twitter most of the conversation is around Jose but Moyes is close behind. Can this be a judge on who will actually get it?
Once again Twitter has shown that it is the place to be for breaking news such as this. It would be interesting to see how many people have used Facebook as well to let friends and family know. It is still a platform to take into account and United used that as well to break the news. It also added a great banner to the top of their page, which I and many others have taken and used on our profiles.
Not only that but the club have reacted quickly by starting a new Facebook tab allowing fans to send in their messages to SAF. A selection of these thank you messages will be published in an exclusive #ThankYouSirAlex book and a lucky few will win a signed copy of the book. Nice touch by the club and very reactive. The club have improved immeasurably in their use of Facebook (and now Twitter), so a well done from me.
Thank you Sir Alex. It’s been a great journey!