Crisis management is a criticalfunction within an organisation. It is defined as the process by which abusiness or other organisation deals with a sudden emergency situation (accordingto Oxford Dictionaries). An unexpected event involving either an organisationor individuals within the organisation may have the potential to develop into acrisis and this may have the ability to create long term or short term effectson a company. It’s vital for anorganisation to have a contingency plan in place to control a crisis so thatthey can respond as effectively and as quickly as possible so that as littledamage as possible occurs. Crisis management is normally is divided into threephrases; Pre-crisis:The pre-crisis stage involves preparing to reduce risks that have the potentialto become a crisis. Preparation involves many factors such as putting a crisismanagement team in place; the common members that are selected for this teamare public relations personal, legal personal, security personal, operationpersonal and human resource personal.
They are usually challenged with creatinga prevention and preparation procedure. Crisisresponse: Crisis response is how an organisation responds to a crisis. Crisis responseguidelines focus on three main points, to be quick and efficient, be accurateand be consistent. It consists of assessing the situation and respondingaccurately as quickly as possible.
Crises have the ability to create risks suchas a threat to public safety, financial loss and reputation loss.Post-crisis: As an organisation starts to return tonormal the crisis may no longer be the main priority within an organisation butmay still require some concentration. Post-crisis looks at modifying orimproving contingency plans to address crisis as they may arise in the future ina more effective and efficient manner. According to Seeger, Sellnow andUlmer (2003, as cited in Heath & Vasquez, 2004, p.54) An unexpected event can thentransform into a crisis when its “overwhelmingly negative significance carriesa high level of risk, harm and opportunity for further loss”. The soccer industry is an example of anorganisation where being efficient in managing communication in a crisis is ofutmost importance as the industry has faced a challenging few years. FederationInternationale de Football Association (FIFA, the body responsible forthe running of world soccer organisation) faced their biggest crisis in 111years. A corruption scandal came to light in 2015 when nine soccer officialsand five sports media were charged for multiple charges of corruption includingbribery, fraud and money laundering over the past several decades whichresulted in a minimum of €150 million in bribes.
FIFA president Sepp Blatterreleased a statement saying ”Let me be clear:such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those whoengage in it are put out of the game. Following the events of today, theindependent Ethics Committee – which is in the midst of its own proceedingsregarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups – took swift actionto provisionally ban those individuals named by the authorities from anyfootball-related activities at the national and international level. Theseactions are on top of similar steps that FIFA has taken over the past year toexclude any members who violate our own Code of Ethics” (source www.fifa.
com). After the release of the statement FIFA approachedthe crisis in a peculiar manner by re-electing FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, who wasat the front of the corruption scandal. Due tothe amount of negative attention FIFA received over decisions they made, majorsponsors such as Castrol, Sony, Johnson & Johnson removed their support ofFIFA to show that they do not support corruption while some sponsors such asBudweiser, Visa and Coca-Cola stood by FIFA .
The PR teamsbehind the brands that stood by FIFA all implemented a similar crisis planduring the scandal (according to lotus823): Public recognition of the scandal and its wrong doing Insistence that the scandal does not represent brand Consistent communication that the brand has put pressure on FIFA to make drastic changes Utilization of all channels (traditional and digital) to listen and engage with media and fans Sepp Blatter to stand down immediately as FIFA presidentThis corruption case isstill on going, the majority of the accused have pleaded guilty. FIFA elected anew president Gianni Infantino in February 2016 (source www.fifa.com) and theyare trying to regain the trust and love of the public. Another crisis within thesoccer industry is soccer icon Wayne Rooney’s latest scandal.
He was chargedwith drink-driving after the breathalyzer test should he’s alcohol level was104 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath (source www.bbc.co.
uk). He also had to face cheatingallegations after he was seen with another lady in the car (sourcemirror.co.uk). Although it was presumed that he’s marriage would be over as hehas faced many cheating allegations over the years but he’s wife Colleen alwaysforgives him. He pleaded guilty to the drink driving offence and received a banof two years from driving and was ordered to d 100 hours of unpaid communityservice work (source www.
bbc.co.uk).He was also fined two weeks wages by he’s current football club, EvertonFootball Club (around £300,000). After the hearing he issued a statement saying”I want publicly toapologise for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legallimit. It was completely wrong”Over the years there has beinghundreds of controversies and scandals in the soccer industry ranging from corruption,drink driving cases, affairs with players wives or relations or drug scandals.
In saying this they soccer industry is still one of the powerful and wealthiestsport industries in the world.