Ian Ayre this week said that Luis Suarez’s behaviour had ‘damaged the brand’ of Liverpool Football Club.
It is no secret that some of Suarez’s behaviour has been out of line during his time at the club but Ayre brought up that term most football fans do not like their club being referred to: ‘a brand’.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has since claimed that Ayre referred to some of the coverage in the aftermath of Suarez’s misdemeanours.
But if we keep our ‘brand’ heads on for a bit…
Liverpool is still one of the most well-known and well recognised clubs in world football – you only need to look back to this pre-season to see that the side is so well known it sold out Melbourne Cricket Ground.
And that came only three months after Suarez received a ten game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, and only just after he expressed his desire to leave the club – in fact he featured.
The point here is that more damage is done to the club’s brand is when it doesn't perform to expectations on the field rather than one player misbehaving. If you’re not playing Champions League football – or any form of European competition – business isn’t exactly going to be as great as it could be, or the ‘brand’ isn’t going to fulfil its potential.
And when the managing director decides to ride around on Harley Davidson on a documentary, I’m not sure if that really helps with the ‘brand’ of the club, unless it has allowed for some partnership between them?
What does harm the brand is treating those close to the club unfairly over the years, neglecting an area because you are undecided as to whether you want to build a great big new ground or extend the current one for ten years. Yes, Ayre hasn’t been at the club throughout that entire soap opera, but that is a real focus for something that might have damaged Liverpool Football Club as a ‘brand.’
Here are a couple of things that could improve the ‘brand’ of Liverpool Football Club. How about reduced ticket prices? How about making a football match more affordable for people to go to, or encouraging local youngsters to go to the match?
And on the field, give the manager sufficient backing so he can try get the club back to the premier European competition.
If Ian Ayre is so ‘brand’ focused at the club, maybe he would consider such measures?
image: © Sanjiva