The £45,000 TweetPosted on
Rio Ferdinand’s £45,000 fine for a breach of FA Rule E3 regarding his infamous “choc ice” ReTweet and comment takes him firmly to the top of the FA’s leaderboard of Twitter shame.
Whilst the level of his fine bears some relation to the perceived seriousness of the offence it is only so high because the FA calculate fines by reference to a player’s net earnings.
Interestingly, though FA guidance is clear that the fact that a post is a ReTweet is no excuse, the FA’s written reasons stated that Ferdinand was offered some leeway because “It was in response to a tweet rather than an original tweet”.
Whilst John Terry (if found guilty) can expect a lengthy ban (perhaps longer than that handed out to Luis Suarez given the confusion and nature of the perceived slur by Suarez compared to the clear and unequivocal racist statement alleged to have been uttered by Terry) there is no ban for Ferdinand. The FA have handed out one ban for Twitter misuse (in the Women’s Super League), however, a ban is the exception rather than the rule at this stage. It would appear that the FA regards breaches of E3 on social media as serious … but not yet as serious as on-field misdemeanours.