Richard Lee gives exclusive update on his move as Twitter goes ‘to war’

28 Mar

Was it Juniors Bees work experience time on the club twitter account yesterday?

As the news of Richard Lee’s move from Brentford to Fulham sunk in (and you can read his exclusive thoughts on this subject, which he gave last night, further on in this column), the club did it’s very best to make (trophy)friends and influence people.

The irony of joking only yesterday about a media team related ‘faux pas’ was not lost after multiple news sources picked up on our tête-à-tête in cyberspace with Fulham.

I have wondered previously who drives the club twitter account after the cringeworthy #trophyfriends and #Novemberkings (amongst others). Every effort we make to be taken seriously on the pitch is undermined by this sort of childish update off it. The only positive being that, whilst these were something I’d have expected Buzzette to come out with, at least they were nothing more than harmless embarrassment and certainly no malice involved.

But then there was Holt-gate. January 2015 saw Chief sports writer of the Daily Mirror, Oliver Holt, left somewhat frustrated by the response to his article on Stephen Hunt. It led him to publically question, amongst other things, “Is it a new kind of anti-PR that you’re pioneering at Brentford?” following (since deleted) feedback he would later describe as “a strange volley of tweets”.

But now we’ve gone(again?) and bettered this after taking a pop at Fulham, the club that we chose to loan Richard to. In what could be described as, at best a factual dig and at worst a direct taunt, the club Twitter account ran the headline..

Bees fire first shot

Bees fire first shot

Don’t get me wrong, as a supporter I think it’s hilarious to see them struggling and I take a lot of pleasure from their predicament.The Loftus Road mob, too. But the difference is that I’m a supporter, not a professional football club.

To have a dig at a fellow team, when we are constantly preaching about respect on the pitch, seems a tad hypocritical. If for no other reason that these things have a habit of coming back to haunt you .

Still, whilst their one word response of “Bless” was as patronising as we had been at least that was an end to it. Five minutes of ‘fun’ that would pass by and that would be that.

Except it wasn’t – we only went and published another response. And to make it worse, a meme…..

Memes - bad enough at the best of times

Memes – bad enough at the best of times

Toes are curling now as I think about this. Any moral high ground had instantly been undone but, worse, turned the eyes of the media towards Brentford with a series of unflattering headlines.

Brentford mock Championship strugglers Fulham”, said the London Evening Standard.

The Daily Mirror had a simple: “Brentford and Fulham go to war on Twitter”

The Daily Mail and even Get West London both ran stories referring to: “Brentford involved/embroiled in Twitter spat”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 08.03.30

There’s a common trend to the stories still dominating our news feed today

At a time when the club are pushing for the Premiership and need all the friends we can get (given our publicised ground issues should we make it), do we really want this to be the public perception of Brentford FC?

Perhaps I’m just overreacting but we’ve seen this sort of thing time and again. How hard can it be to keep things professional and ‘grown up’ on our social media?

At the least, if we are going to try and show a sense of humour then let’s do it without resorting to making fun of another club. A club who, don’t forget, will be keeping one of our players ‘match fit’ and whom we may need to call upon at the end of season should we make the play offs.

Even if that other club is Fulham.

Which brings us nicely on to the story that started all of this, Richard Lee’s loan move to The Cottage. Not surprisingly, this has generated all manner of reaction amongst supporters – some parts positive, others not so.

Football is an emotive subject at the best of times, let alone when you add in a club hero moving to our local rivals where, in all likelihood, he will see out his career. Whilst I may not agree with all that has been said, the real shame is that Richard’s great performances in five years at Griffin Park seem to have been overlooked amidst the noise.

People are, naturally, curious as to what has driven his decision to make this move and a lot of questions have been asked. I caught up with Richard last night where he was kind enough to provide this update for supporters as to what had prompted this:

Richard Lee speaks

Hello all,

A mixtures of messages over the past 24 hours which I was well aware would happen so rather than answer individual questions / criticism i’ll give you my thoughts as to why I’m making the loan move.

I didn’t make the decision to move lightly.‎ I’ve been a pro for 14 years and I am sad that it’s drawing to a close. I’m excited for the next chapter but I’m aware that once it’s over, it’s over.

Unexpectedly I’ve been offered one last challenge that excites me and I’ve decided to take it.

As much as I’m enjoying the day to day activity of training and winning the odd development game I play in at Brentford it doesn’t really give me a huge buzz. I’m doing all I can as a third choice ‘keeper but I don’t feel hugely part of what has been an incredible season and now I feel I have an opportunity to be more involved and make a difference somewhere. ‎I’m grateful to Fulham for offering me that chance.

If certain people are going to ‘disown’ me and disregard my achievements to date then I’m sorry you feel that way about me. I’ve always given everything to Brentford and will continue to watch our games for years to come – If I get turned away at the door then i’ll just have to live with that.

I’ve been heartened by the positive messages from friends, fellow pros and those who know me.

I’ve got just over a month left that will hopefully offer up some excitement and a nice challenge. I’ll then return ready if needed, as sharp as possible for the play offs if that is to be our destiny.

I do this with no spite towards Brentford FC – ‎I’m doing this for me.

Rich x

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Richard Lee gives exclusive update on his move as Twitter goes ‘to war’”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 28, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    I must admit Nick, this Twitter spat passed me by. I have to say though, I agree with you. Its not professional and rather stupid. I myself regularly tweet on the site representing a local authority and you always consider every single word and punctuation mark before hitting the send button, because getting it wrong could lead to a misunderstanding that brings with it bad press.

    Anti-PR is possibly taking it too far, but the amateurish way the club dealt initially with the Warburton situation was a shocker. I wouldnt be at all surprised that the same person who came up with this tweet also came up with the Village People press release. Its in PR that we look at our most tinpot, and something needs to change before next season in this regard. Saying that the second statement on the Warburton saga was clearly done by a PR company (probably hired specifically by Benham) and was professional and clear.

    I had a feeling Richard Lee would get some stick, but I for one bare no malice. It must be so frustrating that in your final season all you get is the odd development game. This isnt a move for the money, this is a move to finish on a personal and professional high, and why should anyone begrudge him that. Although I do hope he has a mare. Ha ha!

  2. Luis Adriano April 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    I have to admit to quite enjoying the first #strugglers tweet! Probably should have left it there though.

    Again, all the best to Richard Lee. Maybe it’s destiny for him to come back from Fulham, where he’ll get plenty of practice ;), and come on as a 119th sub (a la Tom Krul for Holland) at Wembley to save the shootout penalties to take us to the Promised Land. You never know. #COYB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: