Jessie J and JLS are hardly the ideal conversation regarding one’s football team that has recently sunk into desperate turmoil since its sacking of Brian McDermott.
Little has been said from the club about its surprising decision to relief McDermott of his duties following a bad run of results. In the age of the modern, where everything is spoken and reputation is at its most flimsiest, it is hard to comprehend why the hierarchy at Reading FC has not given a statement regarding the current state of the club.
‘It’ was all to quick to heap praise and slap the players’ back following unlikely promotion last season, but when true leadership is needed to look after its closest stakeholders (the fans), they go in hiding. Now is the time where leadership should be at his highest and most effective; if only it is to reassure fans a plan is in motion and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Football fans mostly are fickle and frustrations got to many supporters after some woeful performance, and Anton Zingarevich has only experienced the good times, so when boos echoed, his natural instincts took over. Inexperience was obvious all through this ill feeling.
Typically, and not surprisingly, the players are guarded behind PR shields; whether intended or not – this blog presumes they are used to it now with the awful amounts of needless sackings that are going on.
Credit to Jobi McAnuff though, or even credit to the comms person who uploaded this quote: “Obviously lots happened in the week and it was nice to get out there and do what we’re here for and play football.” The club is aware that something happened after all.
To make this full circle, and in an age of transparency, the leadership should have released a statement, or prepared one just in case – was the Head of Communication informed to prepare its communications. Probably not.
It is hard to believe that Zingarevich did this off-the-cuff and he should have informed his reputation and crisis management team. It is crisis management 101.
This is NOT a statement:
‘Reading Football Club has announced today the departure of Manager Brian McDermott. Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to Brian who had achieved great success with the club since taking over as Manager in December 2009.
Brian gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League last year for only the second time in the club’s history thanks to a remarkable run at the end of last season. However, in our current situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a change was necessary.
The search for a successor will start immediately and it is hoped that a new Manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation.’
This, too, is NOT a ‘further’ statement:
‘Reading Football Club can this evening confirm that first team coach Nigel Gibbs has left the club.
Everyone at Madejski Stadium would like to wholeheartedly thank Nigel for his valuable contribution since arriving at Reading in 2006.
Eamonn Dolan, head of our hugely successful Academy, will assume responsibility for first team matters going into our next Barclays Premier League fixture away to Manchester United.’
These are announcements. Not statements. Not press statements. Not ‘Twitter statements’. Just something you expect on the end of the phone. Zingarevich and the rest of his gang knew this was the route they wanted to take and should have planned appropriately and thoughtfully.
Reading used to be a club that people normally looked favourably on. Late to the party; never gives up. Now it is seen as impulsive, incapable and insoluble.
I hope that this inexperience will be fruitful in the future and lessons have been learnt. Reading’s reputation has taken a hit. Again.
The season that was meant to show that unity and hard-work will always be rewarded has changed to a season of anxiety, disruption and unsupportive.
Hopefully, the hierarchy will show some leadership to the new man.
Thanks for reading, @StevenWoodgate.