Brian Clough’s encounter in a live TV interview, in the hours after being sacked by Leeds United after 44 days in charge.
Such an encounter would not happen today. Brian (according to the portrayal in the film, ‘Damned United’) went straight from Elland Road to the TV studio without recourse to a public relations official. If he had, they might have checked whether he would be appearing on set with anyone else, discovered that former manager Don Revie was set to be there too, and that would be an end to it.
Instead, we get this piece of classic television – and arguably, from a PR perspective, we get to see more of what Brian is about, and his reputation is enhanced. Maybe we need to see a little more risk?
You do not have to be a Leeds United fan (from personal experience, I do not recommend it!) to appreciate the film Damned United. I finally got to see the film this weekend and wasn’t disappointed.
It made me revisit a lot of the mythology and nostalgia that I have allowed to build-up about ‘my team’ from its heyday in the 1970s, but it also provided much of relevance to my area of professional interest. It has a lot of valuable material on which to reflect with regard to leadership, teamwork and communication that are covered from a theoretical standpoint on the PR degree course, particularly source credibility. There’s something about a man with such a fine head of hair, and who can carry off such a shocking level of arrogance – we love ’em.
Brian Clough – they don’t make them like they used to. RIP.