PR, bloody hell….

PRThe title of this piece paraphrases (kind of) Sir Alex Ferguson’s initial response when asked his thoughts on Man Utd’s miraculous 1999 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. It’s also a rather weak attempt to segway into a piece on how football generally seems not to get (or care about) PR.

The FA, not to mention UEFA and FIFA, consistently offers cock-up after cock-up when it comes to presenting themselves in a positive light. And Twitter has given the players the perfect platform with which to embarrass themselves on a regular basis. Honestly, the stupidity of some of them never ceases to amaze…

But the biggest football-related PR cock-up in recent memory (of all time?) has to be Liverpool FC’s stance on the Luis Suarez issue.

The fact that they initially stood by him is excusable to a degree (and I do recognise the cultural sensitivities and intricacies of the case). There was, after-all, a decent chance that he would be found innocent. But the stubborn refusal to shift an inch on this stance for days after the guilty verdict was plain ridiculous. And the apology issued by the club and Luis himself (through gritted teeth and anything but unreserved) was pitiful.

If any other company in the world had taken this position, it would be tantamount brand suicide. As it stands, Liverpool’s (previously unblemished) image has been tainted – but Anfield will still be full every weekend.

Football, bloody hell indeed.

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