United consider Twitter ban
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has launched a withering attack on social networking website Twitter and hinted that his players could be banned from using it.
Rio Ferdinand is one of the most prolific users of Twitter among the United squad and has already attracted nearly a million followers.
Wayne Rooney also has vast numbers who follow his observations about life, while Michael Owen and Nani are other members of the United squad that use the site.
Rooney found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons this week when he threatened a respondent who had himself been abusive, although he said later his threat was not meant to be taken seriously.
Team-mate Darron Gibson took himself off Twitter after barely two hours last month when he received abuse from United fans.
Ferguson confirmed the club were looking at how best to solve those problems but the 69-year-old simply does not understand why anyone would want to be involved in the first place.
"I don't understand it to be honest with you," he said.
"I don't know why anybody can be bothered with that kind of stuff. How do you find the time to do that? There are a million things you can do in your life without that.
"Get yourself down to the library and read a book. Seriously.
"It is a waste of time.
"It seems to have a certain momentum at the moment. Everyone seems to want to do it."
Ferguson certainly thinks anyone with a high profile needs to act with a huge degree of caution.
"It is responsibility. They are responsible for their actions," he said.
"We as a club are looking at it because there can be issues attached to it. And we don't want that."
When it was pointed out Twitter can bring players closer to supporters, Ferguson was equally scathing.
"It would be better if they did it on the pitch."