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Volume 10 No. 25
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Ladbrokes Apologizes To EPL Side Burnley After Offensive Tweet At Two Players

Ladbrokes apologized to Premier League side Burnley after "tweeting an offensive emoji aimed at players Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor" -- a month after being unveiled as the club’s "official UK betting partner," according to the PA. Ladbrokes, which also sponsors the Cricket Field Stand at Turf Moor, sent the message "in the wake of Burnley’s defeat against Leeds United" in the English Football League Cup on Tuesday. Former Leeds player Wood scored a late equalizer as his side twice came back from a goal down, "only to lose 5-3 on penalties after extra-time." Following the game, the Ladbrokes account addressed a tweet to Wood and Taylor -- who also moved to Burnley from Leeds in the summer -- followed by an "image of a raised middle finger" and the words: “Yours sincerely, Leeds fans #LUFC.”

After being contacted for an explanation by Burnley, Ladbrokes issued a statement saying, "These were very poorly conceived tweets which we have since deleted. It was only intended to be a bit of fun but failed completely in that regard, and we have apologised to Burnley FC and would like to sincerely apologise to any fans of the club that took offence" (PA, 9/20). The London INDEPENDENT reported neither Wood nor Taylor "would have expected a warm reception from the away end, despite their respective efforts" at Leeds over several years, but were "subjected to abuse throughout the game" and Burnley Manager Sean Dyche "found the vitriol hard to comprehend." He said, "It's a strange business, football. Twenty-odd million they've made for a club (in transfer fees) and they get slaughtered. I don't know any more how fans react to players, ex-players, all that stuff, but that's football now" (INDEPENDENT, 9/20).