Search icon


10th Jul 2018

Sporting Lisbon spent half a million euros on fake social media accounts to shift public opinion of club

The plot thickens

Reuben Pinder

The plot thickens

The situation at Sporting Clube de Portugal is messy. When the club failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, players were attacked at the training ground by angry fans, and several players demanded to be released from their contracts.

And it just got a whole lot messier, with the revelation from Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã that the club has apparently spent half a million euros annually on social media companies, building bots and fake social media accounts in an attempt to shift public opinion back in the club’s favour.

According to the the newspaper, “this form of communication was fundamental to Bruno de Carvalho and to the ‘war’ made to Benfica, and this was the way of spreading unconfirmed information, half truths or simple rumours.”

This could lead to an irreparable break in trust between the fans and the club, and will not do the club any favours in trying to persuade some key players to stay.

William Carvalho in particular looks likely to move on. He has been linked with a move to the Premier League for years, but now he seems set for a move to Real Betis, according to reports. Either way, he will be more determined than ever to get out of the club he’s played for since 2011.