Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has reminded Oli McBurnie of his responsibilities but says he can relate to his player after the striker was spotted taunting Cardiff fans while watching Swansea.
McBurnie, the Blades’ club record £20million signing from Swansea last summer, supports the Welsh club and was in the away end to roar on his old side in their goalless draw at rivals Cardiff on Sunday.
The 23-year-old, was picked up on camera appearing to make an obscene gesture towards Bluebirds fans during the match.
The Football Association acted when they saw the images but while McBurnie’s behaviour was viewed dimly, the governing body felt it did not meet the threshold for an official misconduct charge on the basis of bringing the game into disrepute.
Instead, the FA wrote to Sheffield United requesting they remind McBurnie, who was also pictured watching Swansea at QPR earlier in the season, of his responsibilities.
“That is that we’ve done. I’ve spoken to him after we received a letter from the FA talking about Oli’s future conduct, which is quite right,” said Wilder.
“He didn’t really go in camouflage disguise. I’ll not mention the make of the jacket he had on, people have already spoken about it.
“We reminded him that he has a responsibility. He’s a footballer and with social media and cameras everywhere you can’t get involved. He must represent himself, more than anything, a touch better and he understands that.
“I think you’re always on camera now. The coverage the Premier League gets, it exposes everybody and it goes into everyone’s front room and we have a standard to set. I’m just so glad there weren’t cameras about when I was playing football!
“But I can relate. There was a time when I was a player at other clubs, and when I was a manager at other clubs, that I would rush back to Sheffield to go and watch United, or away from home.
“I’ve got no problem with him going to watch Swansea. He has an obvious connection with that club, in terms of when he was a young player and taking his family down there. He has a connection with the club and he himself has spoken about that.
“I think it’s refreshing that he wants to go and watch games of football. We just had a word with him on the other bit.
“The FA are red hot on stuff like that so for them not to take any other action speaks volumes for what it was. As far as I’m concerned we move on now.”
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