The Flyers have become the first team to be found guilty of breaching the EIHL controversial social media policy. Teams were warned before the season that themselves, players and anyone associated with the club in an official capacity would subject to the EIHL social media policy which would include a blackout on the use of Twitter, Facebook etc during games except for game updates.
Fife have been a judged to have been in breach of these as a comment on their Facebook commented ‘Ref making a farce of this game. Waiting till game turns into a boxing match’.
What is probably more farcical is that it is not clear to the public and fans exactly why the Fife Flyers have been fined. All the Elite League press release states is that ‘Fife Flyers have been fined under Elite League social media guidelines for a social media post during their match at Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday 14th October 2012.’ You may argue that the a club official commenting on the officiating so strongly is out of line and I would agree but the fact is we do not know where on the scale it falls or which bit of the policy the Flyers have broken exactly. If the EIHL really wants to grow a culture of respect for officials, players, fans and the league themselves it is going to need to crack down on any abuses whether it is during the blackout period or not and actually publish what they deem as acceptable and unacceptable. This should also be carried over into interviews and other forms of media after all what would the EIHL do if that comment was made to a reporter at the game?
Instead there is a situation where it appears to the fans that the EIHL is making it up as they please and you better watch out because what if they turn on your comment next.
For the record the Fife Flyers removed the comment shortly after it was posted. It does though seem fitting that on the day Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole apologies for his rant on Twitter that there is news of the first EIHL breach of social media policy.