IN-house TV channels and social media accounts are fairly new phenomena in the existence of your average football supporter.

It is one thing for rival fans themselves to reach for the smart phone to engage in one-upmanship towards one another in the wake of derby matches and such like.

But it was rather less edifying altogether that the EFL south of the border should feel they had to issue a reminder to their member clubs this summer about their responsibilities after a number used their Twitter accounts to engage in petty point scoring last term.

Here’s just a few examples of the kind of practice they were taking a dim view of.

As a coda to all the spy-gate drama between Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard last season, Leeds United used social media to hit back at celebrity Derby County fan Niall Horan, soon to play a concert at Wembley.

This was some 120 seconds after Derby – conquerors of Leeds in the play-off semi-final had come a cropper there to Aston Villa. “Hopefully you performed better than @dcfcofficial! See you next season! #StopCrying.”

West Bromwich Albion were at it too. Having scored four goals against both Burnley and West Ham, Albion’s social media team came up with this one.

“Albion put four past a team in claret & blue for the second time this season. Where are @AVFCOfficial when you need them? #WBA”

The problem with all this, of course, is that in this era of online echo chambers both of these instances probably go down as excellent ways to engage with your supporter bases and grow your social media reach.

With fans from both sides getting involved to dine in on the subject, and the stories even getting picked up by mainstream media, perhaps those who came up with the content should all be given gold stars.

Things in Scotland up to now have always been done slightly differently.

Sometimes it is left to to the managers themselves to carry on a feud [remember Craig Levein said he was fed up with Derek McInnes ‘being a d***” last season].

And I guess it is a form of triumphalism to pump out a picture of Scott Arfield doing the ‘Broony’ at Scott Brown on your Twitter feed after a Rangers Old Firm victory.

But in general most of the feistiest interaction between our football clubs seems to operate at ‘statement’ level.

In other words, a statement, presumably issued by someone on the board, is seen to carry more weight. It can then be picked up by the mainstream media and carried in bulletins and newspapers.

Coming hot on the heels of a rumbling row between Kilmarnock, Rangers and their various fans groups about the goings on at Rugby Park on the opening day of the season, the Tom Boyd-John Beaton affair has been a depressing early season variant of this.

It is one thing to say that this was a dreadfully poor decision from the match official, quite another to state – as the Celtic TV commentator eventually made clear – that this was somehow pre-meditated on the referee’s behalf.

And while we’re on the subject, if clubs really wanted to help themselves and the referees out, they would stump up the cash for VAR as the match officials themselves want to stop injustices like this happening in the future.

But I’m afraid isn’t good enough to claim that as this is on a subscription-only platform, populated only by Celtic fans, he could say what he liked.

Echo chamber or not, things like this can have real-life implications or legal consequences. You can ask John Beaton and his family about that.

Perhaps in another day and age Boyd’s comments would have been made and quietly forgotten about, laughed off even.

But in these days of Twitter spats and social media that was never likely to be the case, especially once Celtic issued an official statement on the matter.

Rangers, of course, had nothing to do with this one. But talk of “underlying issues” about Willie Collum last season were of a similar hue and were similarly unhelpful.

It took them a while, but the SFA are correct to insist that their member clubs cannot pick and choose their officials.

Perhaps it is a forlorn hope but one of my wishes as this season – and potentially even next – unfolds is that our clubs take it upon themselves to dial back the rhetoric, rather than escalate things to pander to their supporter bases.

Of course – just like those supporters of Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion reading those tweets last season – fans of Scottish sides love to see their clubs sticking up for what they perceive as their interests. Of course, an injustice must be challenged.

But social media and such like wasn’t in existence the last time tensions were riding this high between Rangers and Celtic in the battle over nine and perhaps ten in a row.

While a lot of it is fun and games, it’s existence these days only makes the whole thing more volatile and unpredictable. It must be handled with care.

And before you accuse my of being a hypocrite, I am well aware that journalists have been known to stoke up controversy from time to time.

I just feel it would help everyone’s sanity I think if Scotland’s clubs themselves could keep things civil this season as they battle it out for supremacy on the football field.