It’s hard to know where to begin with the fiasco of the aborted European Super League. There are so many epic management and leadership failures involved.

So, instead, let me share a small positive. The ESL lasted a little less than 48-hours. The concept may have sounded attractive to the owners of these clubs on Zoom calls or during discussions in private dining rooms, but in the cold, unflinching glare of the real world it had all the allure of a Sinclair C5. As a result, executives of these clubs rowed back from the league quicker than Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent in their pomp.

Giving up early on a bad idea is a good, rather than a bad thing. Following Coca-Cola’s disastrous launch of New Coke in 1985, the company was able to create a ‘win’ by rapidly bring back Coca-Cola Classic and growing the brand’s market share.

The New Coke story shows that it is possible to come back even stronger from a shambles if you act rapidly, decisively and communicate clearly with your customers.

Coca-Cola’s message to its customers was ‘we hear you’ and this is essentially the statement that has been made by the owners of the ‘super’ 12 clubs. The challenge for these owners now is whether they can walk the talk and, through their actions, demonstrate that they truly have listened. It’s certainly still possible that, for some of the clubs at least, this episode could be a game of two halves.

Off The Record: Jealous Guy by John Lennon

I didn’t mean to hurt you

I’m sorry that I made you cry

Oh, I didn’t want to hurt you

I’m just a jealous guy

© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.