A few years ago I setup an Everton fan page on Facebook as there was no official page at that time. It proved really popular with fans and quickly grew to 20,000+ followers.
Recently Facebook have been cracking down on pages and as mine was not an official Everton authorized page my publishing rights were revoked. Finding out how to contest this decision was an incredibly difficult job, but that’s probably for another blog.
What has amazed me however was the response from Everton when this issue was put to them to see if they could help out.
Instead of seeing the potential for communicating with this large list of fans the club instead started threatening legal action for using things like the club logo and daring to use the clubs own Facebook application on the page. The only way they would help is if the page was changed to something not mentioning Everton at all.
Talk about biting your nose off to spite your face. Such a shame as football clubs are such a natural audience for social media as fans are so willing to do an awful lot of work on the clubs behalf. Sadly few clubs seem willing or able to let go of control and leverage this enormously powerful resource. A message to the clubs should surely be that the brain power of these supporters is just as important, if not more so, than the money you can extract from them.