Horrible, misogynistic, sexist and vile”.  This is what Jake Humphry thought about the comments on Karen Carney’s Twitter timeline after Leeds United’s win at West Brom.  These Tweets led to Karen deleting her Twitter account.

Carney was part of the Amazon punditry team that covered the game and simply expressed her opinion.  For those of you who do not know Karen Carney, let me enlighten you.

Karen had an incredible playing career.  18 years of top-flight women’s football (Birmingham City, Arsenal, Chicago Red Stars and Chelsea), 144 England Caps (including 4 World Cups and an Olympic Games).  She was awarded an MBE for her service’s to football in 2017.  She has dedicated her life to playing football from a young age. 

Alongside football she has managed to achieve a BA in Sports and Exercise Science and a Masters in Sports Psychology – and is currently studying for a Masters in Business Administration.

My point is she knows her stuff. 

In light of Leeds’ 5-0 win at West Brom on December 29 Carney commented on the manner in which the Whites were promoted.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have a reputation for out running their opponents (we know all about that don’t we?)and it was again the case at the Hawthorns.

Carney commended their efforts but expressed concerns over whether they could keep that intensity up throughout the season. That led Carney to say: “I actually think they got promoted because of Covid in terms of it gave them a bit of respite. I don’t know if they would have got up if they didn’t have that break.”

Now, I do not agree with her in terms of promotion and I think that they had probably done enough regardless of the enforced break.  However, to be fair to Karen she makes a good point and let’s face it – Leeds have had a particular habit of choking in the past, just look at the 18/19 season, and several before.  However, I think she is right to look at the intensity that they play lasting a full season.  They have looked shattered in some games already this season – granted that was not the case against us though!

In a cheap shot aimed at Karen, the club decided to clip 10 seconds of a tweet without the context behind it. 

Because of this Tweet Karen experienced a pile on by Leeds United fans.  When I say pile on, it was as Jake Humphrey described it.  It was horrific. 

Leeds United have condemned the abuse that she received, but the tweet remains up and they have doubled down by the Chairman saying that he “takes responsibility for the Tweet” and that Karen was being “disrespectful to the club”.  Do me a favour.  The club had also tried to defend themselves with whataboutery by stating that they’ve called out Gabby Agbonlahor and others before. 

I think this belittles Leeds United.  Why are they trying to have ‘top bantz’, they are supposed to be an iconic football club – it’s just a bit cheap. If this had been Newcastle, I would have been embarrassed as a fan.

It does seem to be a bit of a trend within football clubs, for them to have a brand personality through Twitter and other social channels.  For example I thought Bristol City’s goal scorer GIF’s were great when they first did them, but would I want our players doing that?  It might work in the lower leagues but I do not think it has a place in the top tier.  Maybe with 16 years outside the top flight perhaps LUFC simply forgot what that is like.

A good percentage of the abuse that Karen received had nothing to do with her opinion though.  It was simply because she was a woman and it is naïve of the club not have thought this through before pushing it out. 

TIM STRUMMER