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A footballer’s guide to social media and the internet

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With Balotelli the latest player to be charged by the FA for his Instagram antics, here’s a guide with ten tweet sized rules for the modern footballer to follow to avoid landing themselves in similarly hot water.

1) Wait until you retire to comment on matters of political controversy – you make too much money from too broad a spectrum of people to ever to able to win in this situation.

2) If you’re going to deliver trite post match clichés, do it in front of a camera. Don’t waste your and our time tweeting that it was a ‘cracking game. More of that lads’, etc etc.

3) At the other end of the spectrum, if you have anything vaguely profound to say, save it for the cameras too. If you fancy quoting a bit of Nietzsche after a cold Tuesday night at Stoke, best to do it in person.

4) Avoid Piers Morgan. In fact everybody should.

5) If you happen to possess literal wodges of cash, don’t photograph yourself 1) sleeping upon it, 2) using it as loo roll or 3) using it as kindling to set fire to notes of an even greater denomination.

6) Avoid irony. Either you won’t understand it, your fans won’t understand it, or outraged pressure groups won’t understand it. Nobody wins.

7) Never respond directly to fan criticism. Either do your talking on the pitch, or leave whatever social medium people are using to alert you to your own uselessness.

8) Avoid Russell Brand. In fact everybody should.

9) Don’t set up fake accounts on behalf of your teammates mocking them for being self righteous berks. *Ahem, KP, ahem*.

10) Your genitals, no matter how grand, how humble, how withered, or how able, should never be photographed by anybody. They’re attached to legs that are much too famous.