27th June 2021
23rd April 2012 - Why Wolverhampton Wanderers’ relegation is new chapter for PR disasters
I bet Gerald Ratner is breathing a huge sigh of relief today.
For years, Ratner’s self-induced, overnight obliteration of his high street jewellery store empire has been held up by most PR folks as one of the biggest public relations cock-ups of all time.
But now Morgan is right up there with him after his club lost its Premier League status and with it £30 million of revenue. The club has seen protests by fans, a slump in season ticket sales and it will be left with a white elephant of a new stand that it will struggle to fill in the second tier of English football next season.
But it all started off so well when the Wolves board sacked Mick McCarthy on 13th February. Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey gave a round of media interviews on the day McCarthy was sacked to explain how important it was that Wolves retained their Premier League status that the and position was “no job for a novice.”
Moxey’s proactive stance was admired by many in media and PR circles, but the capitulation from that point onwards is nothing short of meteoric.
Having spent almost two weeks trying, and very publicly, failing to land a manager, Morgan and Moxey introduced McCarthy’s number two, Terry Connor, to the media as Wolves’ interim manager. Connor is a coach with no management experience and yet he was put in charge of a club that was in danger of going down quicker than the Titanic.
And go down it did.
When relegation was confirmed, Wolves added insult to injury on its official Twitter account with dreadful PR rhetoric saying that the ‘club will learn lessons’. No s**t Sherlock, 28,000 fans inside Molineux knew that no-brainer the moment someone with no experience was put in to a job they have never done before when there was so much at stake.
The only thing the Wolves board has got right in this whole sorry mess is that it was right with it’s original prophecy that the vacancy for a Wolves manager was no job for a novice and so it proved.
Morgan has lost credibility and money. But, most important of all, he has lost the respect of Wolves fans like me who wanted strong leadership at a time of crisis and got a fudge that will keep coming back to haunt him for years to come.
If I were Gerald Ratner I would be sending Steve Morgan a big bottle of fizz to say thanks.
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