#OutOfTheBlue

By Lewis Wiltshire
Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Even after a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Juventus last night, Chelsea parting company with manager Roberto di Matteo came out of the blue for most fans this morning (Wednesday November 21).

The news broke on Twitter at around 9am when @ChelseaFC tweeted simply:

At the time of writing, the Tweet has had more than 5,000 retweets or favourites. The UK’s most prominent football writers have spent the rest of the day clarifying exactly when and why Di Matteo was fired. Fans and journalists also began to speculate on who his replacement would be, and break news about potential candidates.

Over the last 24 hours we have seen more than 2.5 million mentions of the story on Twitter, starting with their game against @JuventusFC on Tuesday night through to Wednesday afternoon, when speculation about the new manager’s identity reached fever pitch. Other highlights included:

  • The peak in mentions of the story on Twitter came at 9am UK time when Chelsea broke the news on their own Twitter account
  • The most popular term was the word ‘Chelsea’ which was tweeted over one million times 
  • Tweets flooded in from all over the world including the UK, the US and Indonesia, where Chelsea have a dedicated Twitter account @chelseafc_indo
  • The topic was also dominating Twitter trends on Wednesday with up to five different trends about the story appearing at the same time in the UK
  • The story also trended worldwide

Chelsea’s main @ChelseaFC Twitter account is the second-most followed of the @PremierLeague clubs, behind London rivals @Arsenal. Chelsea have more managerial news to tweet about than Arsenal - the new manager will be their 8th since Twitter was invented. Arsenal have had the same manager since 10 years before Twitter was born!

The day was summed up by @Lord_Sugar in a single Tweet: 

Follow @ChelseaFC for the announcement on Di Matteo’s successor, which could come as early as today.