A battle of a different sort has emerged at Old Trafford. The King of Carrington has launched a scathing attack on the Prince of red Manchester.
In a touch of Public Relation mastery, the Manchester United gaffer has come out to the press singling out his prodigy as the villain in football’s most talked about football bust-up this season.
The now vilified Rooney has a lot of work to do to if he plans to resurrect his career with the devils. A once crowd favourite of the old Trafford faithful, Wayne Rooney’s publicists will be working overtime to ensure their clients’ reputation remains intact throughout this ordeal.
In a turmoil that started a week back, Alex Ferguson, in a rare press interview, has come out- guns blazing by projecting his image as a doting father who feels victimized by the wayward actions of his ‘son’. Some feel that Wayne Rooney has been portrayed very unfairly by the gaffer but truth be told, Wayne should have addressed the issue before Alex Ferguson was given the chance to.
In all of Manchester United’s transfer sagas, Rooney’s situation stands out as an Alex Ferguson special. David Beckham left with lucid rumours surrounding Alex Ferguson, Jaap Stam left because of Alex Ferguson’s ego- Nistlerooy and Cristiano Ronaldo was purely for money. If Rooney does eventually leave Old Trafford, regardless of his heroics for United, he will always be remembered as a money-hungry, devils advocate.
Instead of being idolised in the same league as Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney will be categorised in the same league as Adebayor, Ashley Cole, Toure and Sol Campbell.
What a way to walk out on a fantastic career at Old Trafford.
My advice to Wayne Rooney will be to manage the situation with poise and grace by addressing the issue immediately before the press goes to town with unfounded rumours and stories that will further undermine any statement he releases later. Act now and never keep reporters guessing. Reporters have a story to submit to their editors, and if none is reported- one will be created!!
Never underestimate the power of an honest and heartfelt press release.
Understanding crisis management is imperative for publicists. The basic rules of crisis management will be to react fast, release an honest statement of the issue at hand and the possible routes you or your corporation will be employing to rectify the situation.
Always address the press or your investors on a timely basis – leaving the public or press guessing leads to further damage which will be very difficult to rectify at a later point.
So go on Wayne do yourself a favour and clear the mess. And going by this season’s performance by Manchester United the chances of ending another battle in a stalemate should not be too difficult.