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A tale of two Cities

Okay let’s not split hairs, I know that only one is Manchester City and the other Manchester United – but the headline is used to take two perceptions on recruitment from two teams both of which think it’s their City.

I share with you a personal experience of each and leave you to think which was the right approach?  Certainly if you subscribe to ‘relationship marketing’ and longevity of loyalty only one fits the bill for me.

I take my Son to the Etihad Stadium for the first time (having been rebuked a sufficient number of times from following Dad’s team!).  The receptionist answers the phone and one learning it was his first visit says he will get a ‘City Card’ with his own name on – naturally adding to their database in doing so.  But what goes to follow is: entry for only £5, a free first team shirt (name on reverse was extra) and a goody bag swiftly following in the post.  Great!

Compare with ‘the Theatre of Dreams’.  First you had to become a Member at: £22 (card included).  Then buy a ticket admittedly £10 – so again value. But we really wanted to go to the Real Madrid replay and so had to enter a ballot.  Some weeks’ later we were notified that we had been unsuccessful.  Then an SMS arrives saying go to the website to get tickets.  We have to again register on that site. And after tooing and froing it says you are not eligible to buy tickets. Great!!

Blade runner

Not ‘football’, not ‘finance’ (maybe?) but certainly adored by ‘fans’ worldwide.  An athlete’s story brings a change in my outlook. 

Oscar Pistorious’ arrest for an alleged murder of his girlfriend remains a haunting prospect for all concerned. The depression and mental health issues witnessed in football, recently with Collymore and Speed, has increased an awareness in symptoms and side-effects.  Many cannot appreciate the pressures associated with expectation and the constant focus in the public eye.  Could this have broken the Legend on blades?  There were signs of it getting too much when losing to a rival in London 2012.

M-Net, a South African TV Station has withdrawn all its brand association with Pistorious. Not that his wallet will be hit or needed in the place he may be destined to train in.  Not surprisingly, his agent proclaims business as usual: “All sponsors are still on board, and they have given us their commitment towards Oscar, based on the relationships that they have formed with him over the past years,” said Peet van Zyl, who represents the double-amputee. “They are quite happy to allow the legal process to take its course before they make any other further and formal announcements on it.”  This unlike the parallel disdain of sponsors of cyclist, Lance Armstrong, that are now suing for damages and return of their investments. 

Pistorious’ sponsors include Nike and Oakley, neither of which were available for comment when contacted by the Associated Press, though are reportedly distancing themselves from any association.  Of course, these events are exceptional but it does bring fresh debate to the pros and cons of sportsperson’s endorsement.


Reign in Spain 2

The ‘game’ of financial roulette as reported before in this blog needed urgent action in Spain.  The Spanish Football League has now announced new rules designed to prevent clubs from overspending.

These regulations include powers to limit the total cost of any clubs’ playing squad – also players registration can be prevented if perceived to be above an acceptable budget – though I don’t yet understand how this is calculated.  The Turkish connection portrayed, namely: Deportivo La Coruna is the latest Club to seek assistance to avoiding going bump and has filed for bankruptcy protection. 

This move appears another step in the right direction after the earlier agreed protocol to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) regulations in the Country. Notably. from 2014 clubs must set up a ‘fund’ totalling 35% of their revenue from media rights to act as a guarantee against any tax liabilities.  I’m sure our HMRC would favour such. Furthermore, there is now an obligation for clubs to provide detailed budgets for the following season(s) including information on sales and expenditure, profit and loss and investments or any sales of assets.

Will I need to write about Reign in Spain 3?