A St Valentine’s day kiss and make up between Manchester City and Carlos Tevez
However, this is one relationship headed for heart-break and tears.
Just when Man City’s PR and marketing professionals should be building their brand, the toxic nature of this story threatens to undermine all their efforts.
To recap, striker Carlos Tevez refused to play for City in a match at the end of the year. Cue a bitter fall-out between player and club and a parting of the ways seemed inevitable.
Only one problem with that .. no other club wanted to buy him in the January transfer window.
So here we are in February and, miraculously, both parties have had a dramatic change of heart. The player wants to return to help City try and win the Barclays Premier League title – and the club are delighted to have him back in the fold.
If only City had been strong enough to banish Tevez into exile (or the reserves at any rate), they could have done wonders for their brand. Their stance would have said that petulance won’t be tolerated and their values are more important than any individual player.
A position which would have been welcomed all over the world.
In a week when Liverpool Football Club – one of the strongest brands in world sport – had their reputation tarnished by one of their players, Luis Suarez, refusing to shake hands with an opponent on the back of a racism row, Manchester City could have taken a position which showed that they had standards which they wanted to uphold.
By welcoming Tevez back into the fold, they don’t demonstrate forgiveness and understanding.
They simply show that the financial imperative and clamour for success overrides any other consideration.