Editor urges football fans to think before they attack players and boss online

Alex Neil, who left PNE as manager at the weekend

The editor of a Lancashire website has urged football fans to think before they tweet abuse at football players and managers.

Luke Beardsworth, who runs LancsLive, spoke out hour before Preston boss Alex Neil left his post.

Luke’s article was prompted by comments made by Neil in his post-match interview following defeat to Luton.

Neil, who says he doesn’t look at social media, told reporters: “I’m literally going to finish this (interview), go home, probably crawl under my bed for a few days, hope nobody sees me and then hope the world is a better place in a couple of days time.”

Writing on LancsLive, Luke said: “The manager says that he doesn’t check or bother with social media at all — and much credit to him if he doesn’t.

Luke Beardsworth

“But if he is at as low an ebb as those comments would seem to suggest, then scrolling through a feed of nothing-but-hate can be addictive in the most negative way and each of the comments, some of which are very difficult to read, will serve to only make things worse.

“It is perfectly reasonable for any individual to suggest that it might be time for an under-performing team to move on. People will be having that argument from now until either a change is made or the team put a run together.

“Anyone who is watching the club play football at the moment can sympathise with anger, boredom, hopelessness and maybe even apathy. I believe most of these comments come from that place, rather than a genuinely vindictive one.

“Alex Neil, the human being, deserves better than some of the rubbish being aimed his way — and that is true irrespective of any level of performance playing a game of football. And if we want Preston North End to be known for anything, it’s probably as a club capable of putting an arm round someone’s shoulder rather than one doing its utmost to kick a man who appears to be down.”

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