Twitter handles are like facts: Everyone has their own and some are better than others. The English Premier League follows this model. Some EPL Twitter handles are instantly recognizable, like @ManUtd with its 14 million followers and @Arsenal with another 11.3 million. Some, like @htafcdotcom, leave you scratching your head as to whether you’re following an English Premier League club or a realty website.
Twitter handles matter. When clubs are tagged in tweets, followers see the handle and not the full name. When @NBCSportsSoccer tweets a video of @LFC scoring a goal, do you immediately think of Liverpool? What about Leicester City, Leeds United, Lyon or León?
We have therefore sought out to rank the English Premier League club Twitter handles based on brevity, clarity and the ability to be recognized immediately. Note: These highly scientific rankings are based purely on the handles and names of the feeds, not the contents of the tweets themselves.
| We're just minutes away from kick-off! COME ON YOU BLUES!#EFCmatchday pic.twitter.com/DAr6tDV5rF
— Everton (@Everton) September 9, 2017
Everton does everything right. It’s simple, clean, concise and you immediately know when you see @Everton it’s referring to that other team in Liverpool.
Arsenal FC @Arsenal
Arsenal is for everyone - and we’re proud to support @stonewalluk's #ComeOutForLGBT campaign in the fight for equality#ArsenalForEveryone pic.twitter.com/bPZWdwjK6K
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 8, 2017
Arsenal almost follows Everton’s example in doing everything right but for one caveat: the FC in the Twitter name. Aided by a recognizable name and its bright, vibrant red color, Arsenal’s Twitter feed is second only to Manchester United in followers, despite not really being relevant in the EPL title race in a decade.
AFC Bournemouth @afcbournemouth
EH: "We've always been underdogs and often written off so it's something we're used to and we can prove them wrong." #afcb
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) September 8, 2017
Bournemouth earns a spot in the top three for one reason and one reason alone: the cherry emoji. Only one other EPL club has an emoji in its name and really, it’s the cherry (sorry not sorry) on top of an otherwise solid handle/name combination.
Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC
Badges at the ready for tomorrow's kit... pic.twitter.com/f8GB8RUEnK
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 11, 2017
Chelsea, Southampton and Watford are all in the same boat coming in ranked 4-6, but Chelsea gets the nod at No. 4 for a better header photo. Chelsea would have been better served with a simple @Chelsea, but that handle was apparently already taken by some “internet girl” living in New York. She’s got 28.3K followers, so she’s no scrub.
I AM NOT A FOOTBALL CLUB
— chels (@chelsea) August 22, 2013
Watford FC @WatfordFC
| #watfordfc pic.twitter.com/0VAGLlZF1Z
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) August 30, 2017
Unfortunately for Watford, @watford was taken by an unofficial account with 784 followers. But @WatfordFC is completely satisfactory. Bonus points for the club’s great patch logo.
Southampton FC @SouthamptonFC
#SaintsFC, in partnership with @virginmedia, is proud to announce the opening of a new Sensory Room at St Mary's: https://t.co/4jnxQq3fHN
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) September 8, 2017
Southampton is the last of the three because its photo is uninspiring and grainy and the profile photo doesn’t even give a straight look at the club logo. You can do better than that, Saints. It doesn’t help that @Southampton is taken by an account that’s been inactive for more than a year and has a whopping 393 followers.
Stoke City FC @stokecity
@Charlie26Adam... What a hit!
Scenes like this again tomorrow #SCFC pic.twitter.com/AUQjDcDYbA
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) September 8, 2017
Stoke City would have been ranked ahead of the three above had it not been for one overlooked factor: not capitalizing the S and C. By not capitalizing the letters, Stoke unnecessarily convolutes the handle, but full points for brevity.
Manchester City @ManCity
What a weekend!
Who's up for some more this week? #MondayMotivaton pic.twitter.com/xNosdqx4x7
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 11, 2017
In a close race between Manchester City and Manchester United, City edges its more decorated rival because it doesn’t have to abbreviate anything other than Manchester.
Manchester United @ManUtd
Superb improvisation from @CH14_! #MUFC pic.twitter.com/Ls1B9HbuVC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 7, 2017
The most followed club in the league, Manchester United has an instantly recognizable handle, but much of that is down to the ubiquity of the club itself. Having to abbreviate both Manchester and United docks the Red Devils to nearly outside the Top 10 despite its 14 million followers, though to be fair Manchester is way too long of a city name for a handle.
West Ham United @WestHamUtd
Let's get behind the lads!#COYI pic.twitter.com/VU2uJYOM9o
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) September 11, 2017
Barely making it into the Top 10 are the Hammers, who may have been better served shortening the handle to just @WestHam, a handle that was available as recently as 2016. Again points off for abbreviating United, though probably a good choice given the length of the handle.
West Bromwich Albion @WBA
Introducing the 2017/18 squad photo!#WBA pic.twitter.com/MJTgWDJVxZ
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) September 11, 2017
West Brom had a lot of options with its handle given its name and we’ll give @WBA the first spot in the bottom half of the table on brevity alone. While @WestBrom would have been more immediately recognizable, the club redeems itself by making its Twitter name West Bromwich Albion. It is a bit too close to @WNBA, unfortunately.
Liverpool FC @LFC
#OnThisDay last year... pic.twitter.com/m3WWFrJ2r5
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 10, 2017
As mentioned at the top, when you see @LFC, there are a lot of clubs that could come to mind. While none of those clubs have won as many EPL titles as Liverpool, the ambiguity docks the Reds all the way down to No. 12. At least @liverpool is a decent and active handle with 563K followers.
Leicester City @LCFC
King Power Stadium awaits... #LeiChe pic.twitter.com/MUYl1JeTh7
— Leicester City (@LCFC) September 9, 2017
Five years ago, an @LCFC handle would have left most confused as to what club was being represented. The Foxes have gained loads of popularity in the last few years, but as with Liverpool the handle is too vague to rank any higher.
Newcastle United FC @NUFC
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 8, 2017
Unfortunately for Newcastle United, the first thing many people think of when they hear the word “Newcastle” is the wonderful brown ale. @Newcastle has a fraction of the followers (50K) of the football club, but the Magpies are stuck with a handle that, while brief, has little instant recognition.
Crystal Palace F.C. @CPFC
Hard work #BURCRY pic.twitter.com/J5TcuHnnOC
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 7, 2017
There’s nothing inherently wrong with @CPFC. It’s shorter, but given that @CrystalPalace was available as recently as 2013, the Eagles probably should have gone with a handle that’s more readily comes across as being for the football club.
Burnley FC @BurnleyOfficial
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) August 27, 2017
Nos. 16-18 all fall under the same category in having to tag “Official” in the handle. Nothing says late to the party like throwing an “Official” or “Real” on a Twitter handle. Burnley didn’t join until 2011. Way to get with the program, guys.
Swansea City AFC @SwansOfficial
Swansea City can confirm that the club has parted company with manager Bob Bradley. Full story to follow. pic.twitter.com/jMJ8wkUvgh
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) December 27, 2016
Swansea ranks behind Burnley because it doesn’t even have the full Swansea name. The Swans, who bafflingly didn’t join Twitter until 2012, could have had plenty of options, from @SwansAFC, @SwanseaAFC and even @Swansea had it acted a little quicker.
Tottenham Hotspur @SpursOfficial
Welcome to the club, @HKane.
Look back through the record books - https://t.co/X6wO2AWyXI #Kane100 pic.twitter.com/3ILcIYGdiL
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 11, 2017
Given the amount of variations available to Tottenham, settling on a handle with “Official” in it is a bit disappointing and, frankly, unacceptable. It doesn’t help that there’s another sports team (with way more titles and history of success) taking the @Spurs handle, with half a million more followers too.
FT: Albion secure their first-ever #PL victory, thanks to a brace from Gross and Hemed’s header. #BHAFC 3 #WBA 1
— BHAFC (@OfficialBHAFC) September 9, 2017
There’s a lot wrong here so let’s get started. First, not only does the handle have “Official” in it, but it comes before the actual club name. No bueno. Then, the club has a long, convoluted acronym. Being new to the Premier League, Brighton & Hove Albion has the disadvantage of not being well-known, so to have a handle that doesn’t have come close to the actual name does not help. And the fact the name of the club isn't even in the Twitter name, it's hard to figure out what exactly you're looking at, though the soccer ball emoji is a small saving grace. To be fair, the name of the club itself is a bit silly. Are you Brighton or are you Hove? Pick a side!
Huddersfield Town @htafcdotcom
WATCH: local band @lew_rey have released a song dedicated to #htafc entitled 'Here to Stay' https://t.co/gLd5HFew7g (CL) pic.twitter.com/dNyeE8Ey95
— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) September 2, 2017
Let’s be honest, when we talk about bad Twitter handles, Huddersfield Town is who we’re thinking about. Besides the fact Huddersfield Town is a newly promoted team few know much about, the club muddles it by creating a handle so far from the actual name you have to think for a long minute (or five) before realizing who the handle is for. Even if you get a chance to see the name, you still probably won’t think it’s a soccer club. It’s no surprise it’s the lowest-followed feed of all the EPL clubs.