Warrior breaks new Anfield rules by using ‘unacceptable’ language on website

Monday, 18 November 2019

Warrior breaks new Anfield rules by using ‘unacceptable’ language on website

By falling foul of Liverpool Football Club’s new guidelines on unacceptable language, Warrior Sports has highlighted the need for clear lines of communication when rolling out new comms directives.

Football clubs are never far from the headlines these days so you'd think that the clubs and those representing them would be well versed in the art of communication. Yet, once again this week it's Liverpool FC's turn to show us that someone at Anfield simply forgot to pass on the memo.

Following the fallout of the Luis Suarez vs Patrice Evra affair, those at the top have been keen to ensure the club can forget having to worry about promised handshakes and backing the wrong horse. So, in an attempt to prevent any further media field days and combat further potential incidents of racism and discrimination, this week the club issued its new guidelines on unacceptable language.

As The Guardian explains, ‘The guide, part of a wider education programme run by the club, details terms that employees should deem offensive under the headings of race/religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability’.

Somewhat bizarrely said guide was just issued to members of staff and not players at the club though, with those at all Premier League clubs taking their guidance on such matters from the FA. Suarez had read that one before then…

Anyway, someone clearly hadn't told Warrior Sports, Liverpool's new kit supplier, what was happening. In a bold bit of marketing move of its own it had told website visitors to 'man up, sign up' in an attempt to secure new subscriptions for email updates on products.

Hardly the sin of the century, but you'd think that Liverpool's comms department might have circulated its guidelines to marketing partners. Lefthand…righthand… kinda takes us back to this doesn’t it?

Of course, these little "unacceptable" words and phrases can come back to haunt you in various ways (although we’re not quite sure what’s so bad about telling a professional male athlete to man up??).

As The Guardian also notes, ‘Eagle-eyed readers have also highlighted that the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told the Anfield Wrap: "If you get little niggles or little injuries, you've got to man up," when his squad was stretched before the January transfer window. One assumes they missed the bit where he told Steven Gerrard to stop playing like a girl too though…

Okay, so that was well before the new guidelines but it does give you some indication as to the lengths that your even your own fans will go to when it comes to putting you straight and extracting the juice.

The moral of the story: when putting out new communications directives ensure you fully brief staff and marketing partners to avoid looking like a twonk.

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