Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fans, players, clubs and commentators from across the globe come to Twitter to follow the news of who will end up where, following the latest news 140 characters at a time.

In the biggest deal of the summer, Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) was sold by Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) to Real Madrid (@realmadrid) for a reported £85.3 million. It was the most talked-about transfer on Twitter this summer.

Since the transfer window opened on July 1, there have been more than eight million mentions of of Bale on Twitter. Yesterday alone, he was mentioned more than two million times.

Overall, the most talked-about transfer rumours of the summer have been:

Speculation around the transfer window reached fever pitch over the course of the weekend, with @SpursOfficial confirming Bale’s sale on Twitter:

Bale shared his news with his followers in this Tweet, which has been retweeted and favourited more than 52,000 times:

And new club @RealMadrid didn’t waste a moment, sharing this picture of him as soon as he passed his medical:

At several points yesterday, terms relating to the transfer deadline occupied all of the UK’s trends. At one point, six of the worldwide trends were transfer-related tool.

Rumours have circulated about players over the course of the summer - some ending in deals, like Bale and Fellaini and others ending in the players staying, like Suarez and Rooney.

But there are always latecomers to the conversation who dominate the final hours of the deadline, gripping followers on Twitter with the will he / won’t he.

It was Real Madrid (@RealMadrid) midfielder Mesut Ozil (@MesutOzil1088) who took that mantle last night. There have been more than three million mentions of his name on Twitter over the last 72 hours alone, overtaking Suarez to become the second most talked-about deal after Bale.

And late last night, it was confirmed he’d signed for Arsenal (@Arsenal) in a reported £42.4 million pound deal. Arsenal broke the news on Twitter:

That moment became the most Tweeted about moment of the transfer window and with his 3.2 million followers, Ozil became Arsenal’s most-followed player. It also made him the only member of the squad to have more followers on Twitter than the club’s 2.7 million. That is a theme that runs right across sports on Twitter as players tend to have higher follower numbers and more engagement on Twitter than the teams they play for.

Another late addition was Marouane Fellaini (@FellainiM) who signed for Manchester United (@ManUtd) late last night. Vincent Kompany, captain of rivals Manchester City (@MCFC), sent him this message:

Breaking News

Clubs and players alike use Twitter to break transfer news — Spurs player Benoit Assou-Ekotto (@AssouEkotto) broke the news that he was going to QPR (@OfficialQPR) via a Tweet:

Romelu Lukaku (@RomeluLukaku9) also took to Twitter to announce his season-long loan deal to Everton (@Everton), from Chelsea (@chelseafc), just moments after the official deadline:

And Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) used their Twitter account to break the news that they’d signed Erik Lamela from AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) with a Tweet and a six-second Vine video:

Victor Moses (@VictorMoses) announced his loan move from Chelsea (@Chelsea) to Liverpool (@LFC) in a Tweet:

Southampton (@SouthamptonFC) announced all three major summer signings on Twitter before anywhere else:

Follow the Premier League on Twitter

The 2013/14 season is the first where all 20 Premier League clubs are on Twitter, along with 52% of first team Premier League players. Manchester United (@ManUtd) was the final team to sign up, joining earlier this summer, and already have more than 750,000 followers. The newest clubs to the Premier League — Cardiff City (@CardiffCityFC), Crystal Palace (@Official_CPFC) and Hull City (@hullcityteam) — all have official Twitter accounts too. To quickly get started, browse this list of all 20 Premier League clubs. (https://discover.twitter.com/premierleague.html)

This season is already proving to be an exciting one for followers of some of the UK and Europe’s biggest teams, with players, clubs, fans and commentators following the action in real time on Twitter. The Premier League itself (@PremierLeague) has more than 2 million followers and treats its fans around the world to live Tweets, score updates and news throughout the season.

And for the first time in Premier League memory, last Friday Chelsea (@ChelseaFC) overtook Arsenal (@Arsenal) to be the most followed UK club on Twitter. However, the tables have turned again as Arsenal have edged back into the lead this week. So as we head into the new season, the race for the top spot — both on and off the pitch — remains very much underway.