Locations we serve
Locations we serve
Locations we serve
Other Services
020 7404 9390
Available 24 hours

Rory Lynch: Maguire verdict puts football's reputation under the spotlight

Rory Lynch

On Thursday, with the start of the Premier League only a few weeks away, news broke that the Manchester United captain, and England defender, Harry Maguire had been arrested in Mykonos.

On Friday, Greek police released a statement stating that officers had intervened to break up an altercation between two groups outside of a bar, which led to a group of three foreigners abusing and assaulting a police officer.

The statement went on to allege that when the group, containing Maguire, arrived at the police station, they continued to be both verbally and physically abusive and offered one of the officers a bribe to ensure any charges were dropped.  

The trial, which began earlier today, did not last long. Despite the pleas of Alexis Anagnostakis, Maguires representative and one of Greeces leading human rights lawyers, for the trial to be postponed, Maguire, and his two co-defendants, have been found guilty of aggravated assault and attempted bribery.

Maguire was given a sentence of 21 months and 10 days, suspended for three years as it is a first offence. 

While the misdemeanours of footballers are often not far from the headlines, the stature of Maguire, as Manchester United captain and England regular, poses interesting questions about how individuals can impact the reputation of multiple different organisations. Far beyond his own personal reputation, Maguires actions will be tied to both his club and his national team, with their individual responses scrutinised as much as Maguires own.

Manchester United were quick to respond to his initial arrest, releasing a brief statement on Friday noting the adjournment of Maguires case and adding: It would be inappropriate for the player or club to comment further while the legal process takes its course.

For the FA, the deadline for squad submissions for Englands upcoming Nations League games presented an immediate dilemma: namely, whether to include Maguire before the result of the trial was known. The timing of this submission, coming on the same day as the trial began, provided further difficulty.

Maguire, however, was included in Englands squad, with Gareth Southgate, the England manager saying: Yes it is clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that in the end I could only take on the information I have.

If facts or information changes I will have to review that decision, but I have a fantastic relationship with the boy, he has been a fantastic character for us - he has my support at this moment.

Southgate also highlighted the impact of Maguires associations: We recognise that if youre a player with England, that has a profile, there are expectations and attention and focus that go with that, and clearly, if youre the captain of a club like Manchester United thats the same.

The courts verdict changes the situation and, crucially, the implications for the reputations of the FA and Manchester United. Their respective responses will likely be scrutinised as much, if not more, than Maguires. How they proceed, under the glare of public judgement, will have significant consequences.

With the stature and profile of footballers continuing to grow almost exponentially, and the impact of social media leaving little out of the public spotlight, footballers actions will be scrutinised like never before. The repercussions will go far beyond the individual which is the case here with club and country already being dragged into the furore.

Read more about our top Reputation and Privacy lawyers for high net worth individuals.

Whether you are facing defamation in the press, by an individual, harassment, blackmail, mishandling of your private data, pre-publication threats, or you wish to gain top legal advice on such matters, reach out to our leading reputation and privacy team today. 

This site uses cookies. Find out more. Continued use of this site is deemed as consent.   CLOSE ✖