Monday, 23 May 2011

How Ryan Giggs can repair his reputation

Who would swap places with Ryan Giggs right now? The famously private footballer finds himself at the centre of a media storm after allegedly taking out a super injunction to prevent  reports of an (again, alleged) affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas.

Following the Scottish Sunday Herald's front page yesterday and increasing internet reports linking Giggs to the story, MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name him today.

Whether Giggs has had an affair, whether it was him who took out the injunction, his reputation is in tatters. How can he repair it?

If he hasn't had the affair, the answer is simple. He should make a short statement through his management saying that it is not him and leave the media storm to move on.

If he has had the affair it is more tricky but he can still bounce back. His years of keeping his head down and excelling at his career will not quickly be forgotten. I would advise him to do a one on one televised interview on a programme like This Morning this week - tomorrow if possible but if not certainly before Saturday's Champions League final.

He needs to apologise publicly to his wife and to Thomas for the distress he has caused them. He should admit that seeking to control the media in this day and age, is impossible and he shouldn't have sought the super injunction. He should explain that he took that course of action through fear of further hurting his family and that he is asking for their forgiveness. He should halt all legal action against Twitter and its users and take responsibility for his mistakes. His PR team need to work with him to practice his answers to every possible question.

By admitting his mistakes, he will win grudging respect and have an opportunity to explain what he has done.
Notoriously shy, he will likely feel very uncomfortable about being questioned about his private life, but without giving the public the opportunity to hear his side and a genuine apology, he will struggle to rebuild his reputation.

That reputation was previously good; while others were sleeping with prostitutes or texting pictures they shouldn't, he was living the quiet life and winning medals for his club. Humans make mistakes - that's part of life, and it is for his family to decide whether he should be forgiven. It may not be forgotten by the media but if he gets his act together, it will certainly pass.

 Image reproduced from Twitpic, posted by @SportingIntel.


  1. That's a really good, well written article! :)

  2. Your advice appears sound. But I would suggest that no-one actually (I mean non-meedya people) cares a toss about him or his private life. It doesn't his ability to do his job, it doesn't mean he doesn't love his wife and child, and surely most people expect premier league footballers to behave like this?

  3. Thanks for the comment Lucy :) It's a sad day when people are expected to behave badly but I agree, you're right. People might not care - and his family may forgive him - but the media is not going anywhere. He needs to draw a line under it I think.


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