Marketeer of the month

By The Drum | Administrator

March 30, 2005 | 6 min read

Have you heard the one about the two Spanish firemen? Jose and Hose B.

Okay, so Jose Mourinho isn’t a fireman. Or Spanish. But you’ve just got to love that joke.

What Jose Mourinho actually ‘is’ is currently open to rather intense scrutiny across a myriad of media platforms. Dependent on what tabloid you finger, what TV pundit you have a penchant for, or what portal you go through, he’s either a petulant, egomaniacal ‘enemy of football’, or a charismatic, coaching messiah, here to work miracles with the English game.

The absolute polar opposite of our homegrown management talent (take Steve McClaren, for example, dodgy teddy boy quiff, avuncular ruddy cheeks and the immovable smile of the partially lobotomised), it’s unsurprising that the irascible enigma that is Mourinho has conjured up such a storm of visceral opinion.

What was genuinely surprising, however, was the drama that unfolded last month: no-shows at press conferences, claims of racist abuse by Chelsea staff, one of the best games of European competition football ever and the resignation of über cool, refereeing style icon, and ex-Wham member, Anders Frisk.

What does it all mean for the reputation of Jose Mario Santos Mourinho Felix (we kid you not)? Will his empire building carry on regardless, or should this particular Roman commander have paid more heed to the ‘ides of March’?

Jose, allegedly an avid reader of Adline, will be delighted that we’ve drafted in some of the best players in the marketing services league to dispense some media advice ‘to feet’, as it were. That said, Leedex’s Max Wild, the new holder of the ‘best name ever to appear in Adline’ title, isn’t so sure he needs it.

“My mother always said, ‘Remember, everyone loves a bastard’, and our man from Portugal exemplifies this,” commented the Wild one with obvious admiration. “As a United fan I\'m happy to admit he\'s been fantastic for the Premiership. With Wenger apparently on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and Keegan sadly departed, we were in danger of the beautiful game becoming horribly anodyne. So, who better than the self-styled ‘Chosen One’ to take up the gauntlet and pitch his wits against Sir Taggart Ferguson, mind-games maestro extraordinaire.”

Wild opinions aside though, Mourinho is currently in a whole heap of Euro trouble. At the time of typing he looked certain to face a monster fine from UEFA (although in relative terms that’ll probably be the same as you or I losing a couple of quid down the back of the sofa), an imminent touchline ban and, if the authorities really wanted to show him who’s boss, a possible expulsion from this season’s Champions League.

Surely he needs to do some serious work on the PR training ground to endear himself to the footballing authorities, and get the media behind his cause?

“I don’t think he cares about the footballing authorities,” was the candid response from Steve Daniels, new creative director at Liverpool’s Finch, “as far as he’s concerned he is the footballing authority. He’s a talented manager and he says what he thinks.”

“I don’t think he should try to endear himself,” added PHD Compass’ Steve Blakeman, “he’s a breath of fresh air.”

On this evidence it looks like Marketing and Media FC are united behind the cause of Mr Mourinho. However, just when it looks like this feature will pan out to be a good-natured friendly, in lunges Rippleffect’s business development centre forward, Craig Johnson, with a waist-high challenge.

Describing Jose’s salvos against Barcelona et al as “the ramblings of a poor loser eager to get coverage in the media” (the crowd gasp), Johnson doesn’t exactly come across as a Stamford Bridge season-ticket holder. On the issue of the winning over of UEFA and the media masses, he commented:

“He can endear himself to the footballing authorities by not blaming the officials for his team’s failings and learn that missing interviews upsets those in high places, such as the sponsors of the Champions League. He can endear himself to the media by stirring up a war of words with someone controversial; unlike referees, who are a soft target with no right to reply. This should be obvious to a coach who served his managerial apprenticeship under a statesman like Bobby Robson.”

Crunch. Somebody call a stretcher.

Johnson went on to argue that the Chelsea team are suffering from Mourinho’s personal high profile as, in his words, “It is likely to wind up the opposition and make games tougher for his squad, like Fergie has managed to do for three decades.”

Not everyone agrees though. Blakeman countered “absolutely” when asked if the team actually benefited from his profile, adding a backheeled “no doubt about it” to the fans delight. And he wasn’t alone:

“If you’re on the front and back pages of the papers it means you’ll attract the big sponsors,” surmised Wild. “Which means you’ll have more money to splash on the best players.” Which is a good point, I mean where else are a club like Chelsea going to get any extra cash from?

The immediate problem for Mourinho is the potential backlash that he may face from the Euro clash, and more specifically the resignation of the popular Frisk (the David Hasselhoff of international referring). How badly do our squad think this will effect his longstanding reputation?

“His reputation as a football manager will only be judged by results,” opined Daniels. “If he’s upset a few referees and the powers that be on the road to football greatness, then who cares?”

Steve Blakeman even went as far as to comment, “I think it’s added to his reputation,” before an agency called England’s Tony Stanton stole the debating ball and chipped in with: “His reputation is as an arrogant, outspoken, prickly egotist. That’s difficult to damage by being more outspoken, prickly and arrogant.”

It looks like the fans from the Adline terraces are largely coming out in support of Mourinho, albeit often with a rather begrudgingly respectful cheer. We doubt that’ll help him as he sidesteps out of the media frying pan and into the UEFA fire, but at least he can call on his mate Hose B to help put out the flames. Looks like we’ve finished with an own goal.


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +