Belgian side Club Bruges bemused after Percy Tau social media tsunami
Percy Tau's Belgian outfit Club Brugge are growing more bemused by the massive impact their South African signing has made off the field on social media.
A social media tsunami has hit the club with 40,000 new followers for Brugge from South African fans of Tau‚ according to research.
The 25-year-old Tau has scored twice in the Belgian top-flight since signing but was dismissed on Tuesday as Brugge sneaked past Dynamo Kiev of the Ukraine in a Uefa Champions League tie.
He will miss the first leg of their playoff tie against LASK Linz of Austria next week but Brugge are delighted with their new signing‚ especially the massive interest in the club from South Africans.
The club says they have 23,000 new South African followers on Facebook‚ 13,000 on Twitter and 4,000 on Instagram.
“We had some experience of this phenomenon when we signed Kaveh Rezaei from Iran but Percy is at a whole new level‚” said the club’s press spokesperson Kirsten Willem.
“We were told by Union Saint-Gilloise and Brighton that we could expect some social media interest but this has still caught us by surprise.”
Tau signed for Brighton and Hove Albion last year and was loaned to Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium’s second division.
His move to Brugge is also a one-season loan deal.
Brugge say they plan now to tweet the occasional message in English instead of Flemish for the growing South African audience.
“We already have an English language version of our website. We do realise that once Percy goes we will lose a lot of their numbers but we hope over the year he is with us we will find a lot of South Africans falling in love with our club‚” Willem added.
When Tau was at Union Saint-Gilloise there was also a social media stirring.
“In the time that Percy played here we went from 18,000 to 31,000 followers but we didn’t count how many came from South Africa‚” said Union Saint-Gilloise spokesman Alexandre De Meeter.
“As moderator I would also get private messages like: “Can you please give Percy a hug from me‚” laughed De Meeter.
“We did not see the attention from South Africa as overwhelming. Even now we still get messages that say‚ ‘Percy is gone but we will always love you’. We like that.”