Rio Ferdinand admits he is no longer actively looking to take up a director role at Manchester United as he turns his attention to launching a new hate-free digital advertising and social content platform.
Ferdinand, 43, was speaking to the Manchester Evening News to promote WeAre8, a social media platform which is looking to give back to its audience by giving users money whenever they watch adverts on it.
Through watching two minutes of advertisements a day within the app, it is suggested users will be able to ‘reclaim their economic power, support charities, help WeAre8 continue to carbon offset and contribute to the development of 8Stage talent.’
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Ferdinand, who is a major investment partner with WeAre8, is looking to flip the $400 billion advertising industry on his head by redistributing wealth to social media users and creating a platform free of hate.
“We’re in an economic crisis at the moment,” the former defender said. “The climate and the environment are under threat, and hate speech is being embraced more than ever on social media. We are hoping to alleviate those problems, all by doing small actions every day that will enable people to have tangible change.
“It’s the fact you can watch adverts for only two days a day and make massive change. Money drops into your money on the app and you can use that to pay a subscription of your choice. Netflix, Spotify, phone bills, energy bills, whatever you choose.At the same time you can actually forward money to a charity at the same time.
“People say social media platforms can’t stop hate because ‘it’s too big’ but if there is a copyright infringement or I upload some music I haven’t paid for it, that clip will come down immediately, and there will probably be a fine that follows it. So please, don’t be fooled that they can’t do anything about it.”
Ferdinand spoke with United figures during their search for a technical director three years ago, and former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was so impressed during his discussions with Ferdinand that he likened the 40-year-old’s knowledge of the club to Sir Alex Ferguson’s and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s.
Last November, the former United defender suggested he would be ‘f***ing unbelievable’ in such a role, though he admits his immediate focus now lies elsewhere.
“Not really, no,” Ferdinand said when asked if such a role still interests him. “I am happy with what I am doing in regards to punditry, being involved in a management company and the WeAre8 stuff as well. I am happy. I am busy doing stuff. If the club ever needed me, I’d always be open to that conversation because of my love for the club, but I think the same could be said of any former player who played for the club.”
Ferdinand was spotted chatting with football director John Murtough ahead of the defeat to Arsenal last month, and although he wouldn’t divulge details of the conversation, he insists he always makes his true feelings known to club officials.
“I worked with these guys when I was at the club, and I still have a relationship with them. I am quite open and honest in the way I speak about United and how things are going. Those conversations will always remain private, but they are always very open and honest.”
WeAre8 is a hate-free social app that inspires people with great content and gets money into their pockets every time they watch an ad, and where they join millions of people to change the world in just two minutes a day. WeAre8 exists to bring power back to people and the planet. To learn more, visit www.weare8.com or install the WeAre8 app on the App Store or Google Play.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.