A FOOTBALL manager has issued a public apology after the Echo revealed he had been punished by the FA for sending out abusive messages about another team on Twitter.
Dan Trenkel, player/manager of Great Wakering Rovers, made the apology on the club’s website tonight after he was banned for five matches and hit with a £75 fine for breaking the Football Association’s rules on the use of social media, as revealed in Wednesday's Echo.
The FA found he had made “offensive and abusive” tweets about FC Romania while watching the controversial Channel 4 documentary, Benefits Street.
According to a Romanian blog about the incident, Trenkel allegedly tweeted: “Half of FC Romania on benefits street tonight it seems #dirtydiving*******.”
Then, alongside a screenshot of a man saying life was better in Romania, he allegedly tweeted: “Well **** off back there you poncing scrounging robbing *****.”
In his statement, Trenkel said: “I would firstly like to offer my apologies to the officials, management, players and supporters of Haringey and FC Romania football clubs for the offence my comments on Twitter caused.
"In hindsight, it is something I should never have done and for this I offer my deepest regrets. I was silly and naive to think these were ok to post and I will make no excuses for my actions that day.”
Trenkel, who has led Rovers to the Essex Senior League Championship this season, said he would be attending a course on the correct use of social media, before adding: “I realise I am the manager of Great Wakering Rovers, a face for the club and I have embarrassed it and those that work tirelessly behind the scenes. I would therefore like to apologise to its staff, my players and its supporters for my actions and make a solemn promise to be better for it as we make our return to Ryman League football next season.”
The club’s media manager, Robert Lilley, also issued a statement last night saying management and players at all levels of the the club would be “educated” on the use of social media.
Mr Lilley said: “In these times where social media is a standard communication method for clubs, we cannot be naive when it comes to using it. It is easy to think that somebody has the awareness to be responsible online, and we simply took that for granted.
“However, where there is naivety, there is a need to educate. There is also the need to continue to work and operate within a set framework to ensure incidents such as this do not happen again.
“It is impossible for us to police our staff & players 24/7, but we will offer as much help and support as possible so that they have the knowledge to use social media responsibly.
“Staff and players need to think before they press that ‘send’ button each and every time. We want that little voice in their head to say ‘hold on, that’s not right’.”