What businesses can learn from Gareth Southgate

PR campaign aimed at fostering openness and goodwill paid off

In the months leading up to the World Cup, the English FA and manager Gareth Southgate recognised a clear apathy towards the national team amongst supporters, and a strained relationship with media that was proving counterproductive both on and off the pitch.

This time two years ago, an exasperated and emotional former England international, Chris Waddle, reflecting on England’s 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016, proclaimed: “They’re all pampered, they’re all headphones, and you can’t get anything out of them.”

Waddle’s outrage at England’s limp exit from the Euros to an inferior side summed up the feelings of many fans and media alike at that time. The English players were ‘perceived’ as distant, disinterested, guarded and ...