'They all want a bit of bait' - Ex-Preston boss claims fans on social media have transformed football
Former Preston boss Simon Grayson believes management has changed drastically over the last couple of years for one reason: social media.
Grayson spent nearly four-and-a-half-years at Preston before departing for Sunderland in June 2017.
He lasted just 18 games at the Stadium of Light and won only one league match, then returning to Blackpool last summer via Bradford City but was axed after seven months.
Speaking on the EFL’s official podcast, the former Leeds United boss was asked how management had changed during his 15-year career.
“Social media plays a massive part in football now and in society at large,” Grayson said.
“People can sit behind their keyboard and write whatever they want, and they can have a massive influence on decisions football clubs make, on the welfare of a coach or a player.
“It’s here to stay but would I change it? Of course, I would because I think some of the things put out there aren’t a fair reflection of what people are actually doing behind the scenes.
“That’s the case whether it’s a coach, a manager or a player. The criticism is there for everybody to see.
“No-one writes too much about the positive side on social media, do they? They all want a bit of bait to get the debate going. It’s here, you have to accept it but I’m not a massive user of social media.
“I say to my players and the people I’m involved with, ‘If you’re going to go on social media, then accept you’re going to be criticised and you’ve got to be strong enough to deal with it.’
“I’ve seen players struggle to deal with the criticism they’ve had and they’ve actually had to come off social media because of the negativity towards them.
“Sometimes people don’t realise why decisions are made by coaches or managers behind the scenes.
“Sometimes they turn up on a Saturday and see someone miss an open goal, but they don’t realise the personal problems players are going through which can sometimes have an effect on their performances.
“It’s tough but it’s here to stay, which is a shame. If everybody was just a little bit more positive, then I’d be more encouraging of it.”