Pardew fires warning to players

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has revealed the club have issued

their players with formal legal warnings about the dangers of

social networking sites in the wake of the controversy whipped up

by serial Tweeter Joey Barton. Magpies midfielder, and serial

Tweeter, Joey Barton has been a thorn in the side of the Magpies in

recent weeks, making comments on Twitter that hinted at

behind-the-scenes unrest at the club. Another lengthy tirade

following a friendly defeat to Leeds on Sunday prompted the club to

make the player available on a free transfer, since when Barton has

responded by posting quotes from the likes of George Washington and

George Orwell to underline his displeasure. The matter has been an

unwanted distraction for the Magpies ahead of the new season, and

Pardew, following consultation with Manchester United manager Sir

Alex Ferguson, revealed letters have been now sent to Newcastle’s

players reminding them of their responsibilities. “I spoke to Sir

Alex Ferguson, and United’s policy is that nobody at their club can

comment about the football club [on Twitter],” Pardew told a number

of national newspapers. “It’s in breach of contract if you are

criticising the owner, the masseur, a player, anyone at the

football club. Giving out injury news causes problems too. “We’ve

notified the players this morning. They’ve probably seen it as

another sort of dictatorial moment from us but we’ve had to issue

them legally with a letter to say this is not right, it’s a breach

of contract and you have to understand you’re going to be fined and

disciplined for that. It can’t happen. “Sir Alex shared with me

quite ferociously how difficult this Twitter issue is for clubs,

particularly managers.”