Saturday, April 24, 2021

The thing that surprises me most about the Super League business is....

 .....they didn’t tell the management. 

I don’t mean Klopp or Guardiola. 

I mean the people who manage the business of these clubs day to day, the people who are closely involved in how many shirts they sell in Taiwan, the people whose annual bonus is based on the commercial deals they pull in, the people who are kept awake worrying about whether they can persuade the goalkeeper to spare ten minutes for an interview with The Guardian, the people who, although nobody wants to hear it, probably have just as much affection for the club as the average supporter.

I’ve read everything I can get hold of about how this all happened and the only thing I can find out is that the senior PRs at the clubs didn’t know until they were on a Zoom call on the Friday. Since it came as a complete surprise to them we can only assume their fellow execs didn’t know either, which beggars belief.

If it’s true they didn’t know that probably explains how quickly the Chairmen and CEOs climbed down the following week. They were getting it in the neck from the fans, the media, the government and even the Royal Family. 

That they could stand. 

I wonder if the real problem was that the senior teams at all these clubs were looking at the boss with an expression which clearly read “all right, genius, what should we do now?”

In years to come they’ll teach this debacle as a text book example of what happens when the Big Boss is flattered into a meeting with all the other Big Bosses and then dared to make a decision without referring it back. 

That’s why most mergers and acquisitions turn out to be bad ideas. At root, they’re all dick measuring contests. To coin a phrase.