Thursday, April 7, 2011

'Wayne Rooney's Coke Deal Finally Loses Its Fizz' See

It was a superbly taken goal and this time Wayne Rooney celebrated by rolling along the turf like an over-excited dachshund.But his winner at Chelsea, which gives Manchester United one foot firmly in the Champions League semi-finals, had already been preceded by bad news of a financial nature.

The England striker's foul-mouthed rant into a television camera at West Ham at the weekend saw one of his major sponsors - and you don't get much more major than Coca-Cola - pull the plug on his contract.

That was far removed from the wholesome image the fizzy drinks giant like to promote and the swearing rant - his second into a camera in fewer than 12 months - was the last straw as far as that deal was concerned.

Nigel Currie, director of sports marketing company Brand Rapport, told the Sun why the decision had been made. "Coca-Cola is a family brand and they have probably decided they can do without the headlines and all that seems to follow him around at the moment," he said.

"There are plenty of other footballers around with a clean image who could be used in his place. Coca-Cola will have acted after weighing up the damage being done to their reputation by being associated with him. It's a huge brand and there is only so much the bosses will put up with."

The Coke deal has been reported as being worth £600,000 a year to the 25-year-old, who earns that in less than three weeks from his main employers.

The loss of income won't affect his life-style in any way and it is debatable whether the loss of face will either for who can truly say they are able to look into the mind of a man who also seemed to be having an argument with the camera (that "What?" in between the expletives was truly odd).

There was delicious irony too in watching Rooney calmly slot Ryan Giggs' perfect lay-back past Petr Cech with the word 'Respect' sewn on to the arm of his United shirt and it was a disappointment, in the age of elaborately pre-planned goal celebrations, that he did not immediately seek out the nearest camera and intone 'Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are sitting comfortably'.

And talking of irony, how must Sir Alex Ferguson - the scourge of the referee - have felt deep down to have had the first-leg victory confirmed by an official's error, as Patrice Evra had been nowhere near the ball when he upended Ramires in the penalty area in the final minute?

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