Scott McKenzie's Collective Conversation Blog » george best Fri, 01 Jun 2012 10:48:08 +0000 en hourly 1 Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs Tue, 24 May 2011 14:06:02 +0000 Scott McKenzie

There is a story that George Best used to tell about a night he spent in a hotel with a former Miss World. He received a knock on the door from the hotel porter who was bringing up his bags. On surveying the scene… beautiful woman, a bed full of bank notes and a magnum of champagne on ice… the porter is said to have remarked “where did it all go wrong George?”.

This story came to mind this week as we see the story “hidden” by the super-injunction became public knowledge.

When Ryan Giggs first burst onto the scene in the early 90’s there were many comparisons with Best. Both were quick, skilful wingers. Both were dark, brooding Celts. Both played for Manchester United.

From there the comparions fall a little bit flat. George Best was probably the most talented player of his generation but was more or less washed up and retired by the time he was in his late 20’s.

Giggs by comparison is still a pivotal member of the United first team – a team which has just won the Premier League and is in the Champions League Final this coming Saturday. He is 37 years old. An age when most professional football players have long since retired.

But it is now matters off the pitch which threaten to damage the legacy, reputation and, dare I say, “brand” of Ryan Giggs. Up until now the Giggs brand has been more or less liked by everyone from mothers (including mine!) to blokes down the pub.  Indeed a friend who works in football once told me that Ryan Giggs was one of the nicest guys he’d ever met.

 Up until now, Ryan Giggs has been quietly regarded as a national treasure – not quite the Queen Mother but not far off it.

That reputation is now under severe threat. And while he has shied away from the limelight throughout his career  it will now be very much thrust upon him. Superinjunction or not.

Incidentally I don’t know of a single PR person who would have followed the same path as Schillings and threatened anyone and everyone talking about the case on Twitter… in my view this has caused the most long term reputational damage.

Much now will rest on the shoulders of wily Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Will he be able to give the right advice to Giggs? Will he be able to ensure that the United team provides the right level of support to their colleague? Will he be able to ensure that Giggs is still motivated and productive in his workplace? Most notably against the mighty Barcelona on Saturday night.

The nation, indeed the World, will be watching on Saturday night to see the results of Sir Alex’s work.

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