Next time you see that Premier League star striker on 80 grand a week kissing the badge in some assumed gesture of loyalty to the fans and the club, do try not to vomit.
Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace’s new signing, will have to score at least two dozen goals this season if he is to stand any chance of erasing from Eagles fans’ memories the gormless social media gaffe which one of his no doubt highly paid management and PR advisers committed this morning, not long after the Belgian international striker’s transfer from Liverpool was confirmed.Under a couple of pictures taken this morning when the £27 million bit of business was done, the profile on the official @chrisbenteke Twitter account was altered to reflect the player’s move: “Burnleyl [sic] FC & Belgium national team”.
The account was also listed as tweeting as if from “Burnley, England”.
Burnley. Palace. Palace. Burnley. Pah! About 200 miles apart, with Crystal Palace being a gritty northern former cotton milling town. And their respective managers look much the same, too. But otherwise, no real difference, surely?
The error was quickly spotted by amused fans of other clubs – who surely will never allow Palace supporters to forget such apparent fickleness from someone in whom the club has invested a massive amount of money and even more hope.
The hired minion operating Benteke’s social media for him was quick to acknowledge and correct the error.
“Oops my bad lol Yes I signed for cpfc and not burnley. Sorry for the little mistake the person that manages my Twitter got a little confused,” was the message.
“lol”? Seriously? “Little mistake”? Really?
National newspaper sports journalists also picked up on Benteke’s howler, one describing it as “The best tweet of the year”.
The club’s official website this morning confirmed the transfer, stating, “Crystal Palace have signed Belgium international striker Christian Benteke from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee on a four year contract.”The “undisclosed fee” being the £27 million, plus £5 million in potential add-on fees, which has been reported widely everywhere else, including Inside Croydon earlier this week (though, oddly, not in the pages of this week’s edition of the Dorking-based non-local newspaper).
The club did not quote the player as saying, “I’m very happy to commit my future to Crystal Palace/Burnley/any other club who will have me [delete as applicable] and I’m looking forward to meeting the manager, the players and the staff.”
But he really did say that he was “looking forward to meeting the manager”.
“I feel really happy that the deal has been done and now I can look forward,” Benteke is supposed to have said. Or maybe he had a public relations agent say those words for him.
He is clearly wholly committed to the club. Whatever that club may be called.
Benteke is the fourth player signed by Palace over the summer, after Andros Townsend, James Tomkins and Steve Mandanda. Before today’s match at Tottenham, Palace had won just twice in their previous 22 Premier League games.
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