A football club has banned the whole of Hungary from posting on its Facebook page after being inundated by fans of their latest signing.
Notts County FC said it had to take drastic action after signing 24-year-old striker Balint Bajner on Tuesday.
Following his move to Meadow Lane, Bajner’s army of home support swamped the club’s social media site with 4,500 new likes in just 48 hours, and a host of comments on every posting.
When Notts County’s social media chiefs posted the fact Bajner was making his club debut on 61 minutes against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night, it scored more than 1,000 likes.
Other match postings which did not mention Bajner typically only received likes in double figures.
Jamie Dixon, head of media at Notts County, said the comments were “in good humour”, but that the growing volume on every new Bajner-related posting meant they had had to act.
“On the day of his signing, we had 1,200 people like our page,” he said.
“Then when he came on against Doncaster, we had 1,000 likes on that post, and 100 comments.”
Most of the comments say “No Bajner, no party”, and although the source of the phrase is not entirely clear, club officials say it goes back to the young striker’s days in his home country.
Several Bajner-related internet memes were also posted, including a storyboard cartoon in which a man is talked down off a high ledge when his friend remarks the Hungarian striker is on the football field.
Mr Dixon said club media officials been told to “keep an eye out” for Bajner’s followers by his previous club, Ipswich Town, but had not counted on the unprecedented interest.
“It caught us in a bit of a spin, we weren’t sure one way or the other what was happening until we started getting hundreds of new likes,” he said.
The club’s action to block people in Hungary appears to have worked as by this afternoon, following yesterday morning’s new ban, the club had had just 11 new likes.
However, the League One side is not planning on removing any of the original comments from Hungarian users.
Notts County, founded in 1862 and thought to be the world’s oldest professional football club, is no stranger to popularity abroad, boasting an Italian following through its historic ties to Serie A side Juventus.
The club currently has around 82,600 likes on Facebook.
According to Mr Dixon, the source of good-humoured Bajner-related banter is connected to a disparaging comment he once made on the quality of Hungarian football.
On another occasion, when asked by reporters why he thought he had been substituted in the first half of a match he is said to have remarked it was “so the fans could applaud me”.
However, Mr Dixon said the player was “keeping his head down, and getting on with playing”.
“He’s aware of it (the Facebook postings), and taking it in good humour. He’s a nice, down-to-earth guy.”
A group of Magpies’ fans have now set up a Hungarian page, which the club hopes will allow commenters to have their say without flooding the official site.
Some local Nottingham-based supporters also appear to have caught the mood of the comments, added Mr Dixon, with the “No Bajner, no party” catchphrase already growing in popularity among their ranks.
Bajner has yet open his account for the club, after featuring in the 0 – 0 draw away at Doncaster.