The power of perceptions and PR in football management

The power of perceptions and PR in football management

10-Nov-2021 11:41:40 | The Guardian

Football is a results business but it is also a branding exercise. And, once you have a reputation, it’s hard to shake it

By Chris Evans for The Set Pieces

“I won’t ever be going to a top-four club because I’m not called Allardici, just Allardyce,” joked Sam Allardyce nearly a decade ago. He was the West Ham manager at the time and was fielding a question before a match with Manchester City. He quickly qualified that what he said was “tongue in cheek” but there was a ring of truth to what he said. Allardyce had a PR problem, an issue that has only exacerbated in the nine years since he made that jibe to the roomful of reporters. Many other managers have struggled with the same issue in recent years.

Even if manager PR is not a tangible thing, there is no doubt it affects coaches’ job prospects, especially in an era when the sheer mention of a club being linked with a new boss can inspire a huge reaction online. Terrace opinions have always influenced the game, but social media only magnifies perceptions, whether they are factual or not.

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