Didn't Ask + Ratio: The Sportsman Glossary Of Football Twitter

Do you know your 'rent free' from your 'Pason Pount'?
08:35, 13 Jul 2022

If you have ever logged onto Twitter for football news, views or analysis you will have met them. The Football Twitter people. The users with a footballer as their profile picture, a club in their bio and mischief in their heart. They may have even approached you. Offered you a “ratio”, cut you down with a “rent free” or even agreed with you via a “Factos”. 

The beautiful game is almost unrecognisable once you wander over to what hipsters call “the bird app”. To help you navigate the dark recesses of the Twitter echo chamber, here is a glossary of useful terms to help you understand the inhabitants of Football Twitter. Log in and try using a couple yourself while you still can, before Elon Musk bulldozes the site and replaces it with an NFT of his own expressionless face.


Admin: The person who posts a club’s content to social media. The first port of call for moaning supporters. Often berated for not doing the following entry on our list.

Announce: The demand that the Admin confirm the signing of a player. E.g. “Announce Messi”. It is vital that you post this phrase with a complete lack of understanding over the Admin’s role in completing transfers.

Clear: To be clearly better than someone or something else. A player or team can be “clear” of something else. Often followed by “I’m afraid”, like in the phrase “Yeovil Town clear of Man U I’m afraid.”

Cold: Ice in his/her/their veins. A player can be cold, an image can be cold, a scoreline can be cold. A player can have a cold, but that isn’t usually talked about in such glowing terms.

Didn’t ask: The ultimate dismissal of another FT user’s opinion. Also occasionally used when the Tweeter in question did, in fact, ask.

Didn’t happen: A brief, brutal and swift shutdown of misinformation. Later extended beyond the walls of Football Twitter to its current use as a way of dunking on people whose deaf Nans voted Leave and were cheered by waiting voters.

Dub: Also written out as W. A dub is a win. It is the opposite of an L, or loss. Dubs are often followed by “bossman”, in tribute to the patron saint of Football Twitter, Robbie Lyle of AFTV.

Eibarman: A derogatory term for Lionel Messi, or ‘Pessi’ for reasons we’ll come on to later. Hints at the perception Messi scores the majority of his goals against small teams. Fun fact, the Argentine has 20 goals in 11 games against Eibar.

'fraudiola' applauds another goal for 'eibarman'
"fraudiola" applauds another goal for "eibarman"

Factos: Cristiano Ronaldo’s response to a fan who had a meltdown that CR7 lost the Ballon d’Or to Messi. Used to express agreement, usually with the same eye and thumb emojis that Ronaldo himself employed in the original post.

FC: A self-declared way of showing allegiance. Manchester United have a faction of fans who call themselves Martial FC. Of course an entire team of Anthony Martials would lose 84-0 every single week. Just don’t tell Martial FC that.

Feast: When everything is going your way. It might be a victory, a trophy win or the signing of a left back you hadn’t heard of until two days before. We aren’t targeting these at a specific team, we promise.

Football heritage: If Robbie is the patron saint of FT, Jose Mourinho is its court jester. A lot of his press conference utterances have become Twitter folklore, but his bizarre, hand-wringing “this is football heritage” speech is the most parodied.

Fraud: The ultimate insult for a professional athlete or coach. No one is immune. Pep might have won four out of the last five Premier League titles, but to many he is still Fraudiola.  

Goated: Because GOAT isn’t overused enough, Football Twitter has mutated it into an adjective. Used to describe something being the Greatest Of All Time. Example: “Obafemi Martins’ goal in the 2011 League Cup Final is goated.”

Here we go: The mating cry of transfer guru Fabrizio Romano. If the bearded sage says this, you know a transfer is as good as done. Except when it isn’t, at which point FT will claim they always liked The Athletic’s David Ornstein better anyway.

Honest fan: Ironically a phrase in which both words are wrong. Self-proclaimed “honest fan” accounts are neither honest nor a fan of their subject. Usually used to point out the shortcomings or take the piss out of whoever the account claims to be an “honest fan” of.

HTH: Short for “hope this helps”. Exclusively said by people who have not said anything helpful, often in their entire lives.

Idolo: The word means “an image of God” but it’s often thrown at anyone who has scored a goal or, more importantly, announced a transfer.

Inject: The good feelings football can throw up. The ones so glorious, like a rival team losing or being humbled in some way, that you want to receive them straight into your veins.

Invented: Frequently levelled at Liverpool and the worst of their “This Means More” contingent. Recently used when they held the world’s first ever trophy parade and we had to hear about it for a month.

ITK: “In the know”. Usually a KFC worker whose Dad plays billiards with Dan Burn’s barber and has heard that Newcastle are in for Neymar. Almost without fail and ITK doesn’t actually K his A from his elbow.

Levels: Levels above. Levels below. He’s levels mate. LEVELS.

Merchant: There are no specialists in football any more, only merchants. Strikers are tap-in merchants, wingers are pace merchants, Venezia players are the merchant of Venice. Nobody is allowed to be good at anything ever again, lest they become a merchant.

News: Derived from a genuine request to transfer gurus for “Chelsea news?” or that of another team. Inevitably gets 100 replies of “small club + ratio”.

Own: To assert dominance over a team. If a player scores or plays well against your team he “owns your club”. Also works if you say “Mbappe owns your club” to PSG fans, as he basically does nowadays.

Pen: We’re into the really good stuff now. What started as a way to highlight penalty merchants like “Penaldo” and “Pessi” now applies to everything and everyone. Sometimes shortened to just a “P” as in the utterly unhinged “Pason Pount”.

they call him 'pason pount'. nope, me neither
they call him "pason pount". nope, me neither

Ratio: The icon. The legend. The very beating heart of Football Twitter. The act of the ratio is to reply to a tweet and get more likes on your reply than the original tweet got. To do so is to “ratio” the recipient. We expect some bright spark called something like @WavyWernerCFC will ratio this article when it’s posted on Twitter. 

Rent free: Interchangeable with “obsessed”. You’re not allowed to have an opinion on a club you do not support. If you do then you’re obsessed with that club and they live rent free in your head. We don’t make the rules.

Rep: To rep a player is to display them in your profile picture. If your profile picture is a picture of you then you aren’t truly part of FT. Often a magnet for digs like “You rep Trashford”, if someone disagrees with your opinion.

Siiiiiiiiiu: Some Portuguese bloke started saying it when he scores. Football Twitter followed.

This you?: When you are caught red-handed either doing something inappropriate or contradicting an earlier opinion. 

Upgrade/Downgrade: A player going to a better or worse club, usually used sarcastically. For example, “Neco Williams from Liverpool to Nottingham Forest? Massive upgrade”.

VAR: The video refereeing system that we all know on loathe. Weaponised by online fans convinced it benefits every team other than theirs. LiVARpool and VARchester United get a lot of stick from these types.

If reading this has made you want to stick your favourite player in your bio and join the party among Football Twitter’s finest, we wish you luck out there with your brand new set of phrases to use. If it made you want to boot your phone into the sea and watch Premier League Years, safe in the knowledge that football has always attracted weirdos but at least you didn’t used to have to read their opinions, then we salute you.

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