The LaLiga club claimed they’d handed the account over to an intern, only to be reprimanded by Bayer Leverkusen.
Anyone following Valencia’s English language Twitter account on Friday would have wondered if they were actually following a respectable footballing institution or a student who'd accidentally guessed the password to a Twitter account with just over 50,000 followers.
The day started with the claim that the account was being handed over to “the newest intern” on the grounds that it was international break.
Since it’s international break we’re going to let our newest intern do the tweeting today— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 16 November 2018
This was followed by a fake CV of the fake intern and the first 'gag' of the day. “I thought I applied for a football manager position but I ended up as a CM”.
Hi, my name is John glad to meet you all, this is my first tweet ever, please be nice to me 😀 pic.twitter.com/VJblQsasUk— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 16 November 2018
From there, things started turning a little strange, with tweets featuring men's guts and a stream of comments about reaching a certain number of followers if the “intern” John was to keep his job. All of which was patently false.
guys i'm a legend pic.twitter.com/AIrj6LVlJl— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 16 November 2018
And then the account started chatting about booze.
everyone. #tgif have a drink now it has been a long week— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 16 de noviembre de 2018
all of u r amazing now pic.twitter.com/Y7kFx53kIJ— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 16 November 2018
Which led to @juanxMata to ask Bayer Leverkusen to get involved. Which they did, but by taking the moral high ground.
Because we don’t need to pretend we are drunk to be funny. https://t.co/BgyDzYOWrg— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) 16 de noviembre de 2018
The Valencia CM tried to get some banter going but whoever was running Leverkusen's account was having none of it. And called out Valencia's account for simply chasing followers.
Just stop. There are lots of impressionable young fans on here who shouldn’t be told by a well-known club that behaving this way is funny or cool or something they should aim for.— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) 17 de noviembre de 2018
We prefer their old tweets where they aren’t pretending that it’s funny or cool to abuse alcohol and be drunk on the job (because it isn’t). We strive to be a fun, good influence on here and always hope other clubs will do the same. Chasing a follower count isn’t everything. https://t.co/tL7gzdtYdG— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) 16 de noviembre de 2018
The 'intern joke' finally ended on Saturday morning with the supposedly real CM coming back in.
Wou SPEECHLESS, we are very confused and not sure what to do with this intern. Anyways thank you all for showing him some love and support BUT I'm glad to be back.— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 17 November 2018
Over recent weeks Valencia's English language account has been trying different 'zany' approaches to their fan engagement, including a pretend cyberattack, with the campaigns being masterminded by a new office manager.
The thinking is presumably that any attention is good attention and will lead to an increased number of people engaging. And it seems to be working, with the account putting on 3,445 new followers yesterday and over another 1,000 today, as media outlets picked up the story and covered it. Oh, hang on a second...