Before the match against Leeds United, Burnley announced a new sponsorship deal with betting firm Ladbrokes, with one of the stands in Turf Moor now being “branded” as the “Ladbrokes Stand.” Now while it’s debatable if it’s okay that clubs are willing to sell their history for a few quid, this is modern football and modern football says that if you can make money doing something, go for it. After all, fans were implored by the sleeves of the Burnley players to PLAY GOLF CLASH.
But apparently a bit of banter went too far.
After Leeds United fans spent a good amount of the match booing both Charlie Taylor and Chris Wood, Burnley players who left Elland Road during the summer transfer window, one of the social media people for Ladbrokes decided to troll Burnley fans a wee bit. The Ladbrokes twitter account featured a tweet reading “Dear Chris Wood & Charlie Taylor, (middle finger emoji), Yours sincerely, Leeds fans.” A little bit of harmless banter, right? After all, Leeds United had just dumped Premier League Burnley out of the League Cup on penalties after drawing 2-2 after extra time. And not only had Leeds beaten a team from a higher division, the team had made nine changes to the side that had just lost to Millwall in the Championship, as Leeds head coach Thomas Christiansen chose to field an almost “second string” side in the Cup, just like he did against Newport County and Port Vale.
However, Burnley fans were upset with the tweet, and while it might be seen as a bit of harmless trolling, Ladbrokes was forced to apologize to both Burnley fans and Burnley FC for the tweet. While it might be a bit of banter, when it comes to business and the big bucks that get thrown around, it’s a bad look for a company’s twitter account to take shots at a club that they are paying money to advertise with. After all, Ladbrokes is in the business of making money, not making fun of people on twitter. However, this story and the forced apology are now making a bigger deal out of the tweet than it would have had otherwise. Either way, Ladbrokes now has a little egg on their face over the tweet, and Burnley fans are probably still upset. Then again, maybe this will just increase the amount of betting at Ladbrokes in Blackburn to increase.