Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Pardew stays, Cortese goes off on one

My apologies again for neglecting this page recently, I am back on it again now after spending three hours writing about 1960s social history in an exam this morning.

Where to start but the blistering statement Cortese released last week? He keeps his cards close to his chest and doesn't speak often, but when he does, he doesn't half go for it.

In an end-of-season diatribe of almost polemic proportions, Cortese dismissed media reports that he was set to sack manager Alan Pardew after the Saints boss failed to guide the club to a top-six finish despite player investment in January.

Unsurprisingly, the Southern Daily Echo is the chief target for his ire, despite reports over Pardew's future being published in national newspapers; judging by this report in The Mail, you would have been forgiven for thinking Pardew had boxed up his desk stationary already.

Even Radio Solent - which, unlike the Echo, has a commercial agreement with the club - reported that Liebherr's absence from St Marys ten days ago was down to unhappiness at this season's progress. But Cortese has his sights firmly set on the Echo:

"As a local paper, I would have hoped that it would provide the local newspaper with news, rather than gossip."

He does not stop there, launching broadsides at Saints legends Matthew Le Tissier, Lawrie McMenemy and Kevin Keegan for daring to speak out in favour of Pards.

Of course, the bottom line is that Pardew is staying - that is something we should all be thankful for as managerial stability is what this club craves. And even if Cortese's public pressure on his manager appeared harsh in March, it certainly had an effect as the side went on an immense end of season run that almost ended in a play-off place.

But Cortese needs to realise that the media coverage surrounding English football will not go away - and, as he is learning, can grow out of control if left to swell unabated. Communication is an essential part of running any football club and that is the one area the Swiss needs to build on next season.

Cortese says he "will not respond to every piece of idle speculation." Nor should he. But although keeping completely tight-lipped may satisfy him in his feud with the Echo, by allowing these rumours to escalate, it is only the fans who suffer.

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