I wish Liverpool players would stop using social media – Ayre

After Mario Balotelli was charged by the FA for a controversial Instagram post, the Reds official admits that misuse of such networks is “definitely an issue” for the club

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre admits that he would prefer if the club’s players did not use social media after Mario Balotelli’s latest FA charge.

Balotelli caused a stir after sharing an image on Instagram and Twitter that contained anti-Semitic and racist references.

Though the Italian claimed that his intent was anti-racist, he was widely criticised and ultimately charged by the Football Association as the image contained language referring to “ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief”.

Though Ayre is satisfied that Liverpool have done everything in their power to warn players of the perils of social media, he concedes that little can be done to prevent controversy from rearing its head.

“Given the choice, we’d love to keep all our players away from social media because it really is a problem,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I can honestly say there isn’t any more we could do as a club to try to educate our players around this but it still rears its head at least once a season – probably at every club in some form or another.

“One of the problems that all footballers have had for many a year is that they have too much time to kill. In that downtime they seem to put these crazy sort of messages up. It is definitely an issue.

“I don’t think we have got to the point where we would stop people doing it but we certainly have a very stringent policy that all of our players sign. If they step out of line then we punish them.”

Balotelli has until December 15 to respond to the charge.

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