The Ugly Face of the Beautiful Game

Amidst all the high-profile outrage surrounding the Sunderland manager, di Canio’s recent declaration that he is a fascist, I have found myself wondering how a multi-billion pound industry can pay so little attention to its press machine.

The rights and wrongs of his political beliefs are probably best debated in another forum, but the simple fact is that the handling of the media circus has been highly damaging or the Premiership club.

Important political allies and backers of the team have sought to distance themselves in light of the furore; David Miliband seems to be particularly concerned about the contagion (although he is already leaving to start a career in the United States), he has made a point of stepping down from the Club’s board.

It is astonishing that an industry that thrives in the public eye is so incapable of handling its own media image. While players agents and advisors manipulate self-interests. Most of their power is used to manipulate petty transfer tittle-tattle on tabloid back pages. The reality of the work debases the concept of communication.

The correct PR path in circumstances like these is to address the question, offer an explanation and put the issue to rest. Refusing to answer means the fiasco could drag on forever: the facts of the matter are left open to debate and silence is quickly filled with noxious speculation.

If di Canio is indeed a fascist, he is failing to show radical authoritarian leadership through his PR.