Taylor wants consensus on Twitter

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Football News

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes it is vital for the football world to get its "head round" Twitter.

The social networking website has been at the centre of several football controversies in recent years but has particularly come to the fore in the past seven days. Joey Barton was told by Newcastle earlier this week that he can leave on a free transfer after the outspoken midfielder made several outbursts on Twitter.

Some club managers clubs have banned their players from using the site but Taylor does not believe a club-wide ban is the way forward and has called for the relevant bodies to try to embrace the site. He said: "Every person has got the right to speak in public so long as it is their own point of view and it does not reflect badly on their employers, the game or other personalities in the game."

Taylor added: "If it is defamatory then it can then be used against that person in a legal manner for compensation and so this is an issue that we really need to get out heads round and try to get a criteria that is comfortable for everyone.

"It is not necessarily good enough to say it is 'no, we don't have it at all'.

"I think in the short term a number of clubs have done that rather than risk perhaps one of their young players or even a senior player - or an aggrieved player - coming out with stuff that is not conducive to team spirit or good relationships at the club."

Taylor, who played as a winger in the 1960s and 1970 for the likes of Bolton, Birmingham and Blackburn, admits there are pitfalls of using Twitter but believes it can be an important medium for players and fans.

"It is not an easy thing but used in the right way it can help with relationships between players and supporters," he added.

"Used in the wrong way it can also cause problems at the clubs, to team-mates and other professionals in the game.

"As with most things, it is about everything on its merit and it is a question of proportionality."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Joey Barton
Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Newcastle United
Gordon Taylor

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