The Italian’s job lost in translation

Racepoint Global

Written by Danny Breen, Intern, Racepoint Global London

The world’s media was out in force at Chelsea Football club’s training ground in Cobham last Wednesday, for what as a Chelsea fan, was the all too familiar sight of the club unveiling another new manager.

Before the new Chelsea Football club manager, Maurizio Sarri, threw himself into one of the toughest football leagues in the world, he first had to face the bright lights of the English media. The results were a mixed bag.

Sarri admits his English is not the best, and conducted most of the press conference in Italian, with the help of an interpreter. This proved to be an issue as a string of Sarri’s proclamations were mistranslated by his aide.

Sarri said that Chelsea needed more quality in the central midfield area. The journalists were told he wanted to strengthen in central defence.

Sarri said there is a correlation between having fun and winning. Not unreasonable. What was translated back was that it’s okay to lose matches as long as the team were having fun – a line that quickly found its way to the headline writers of national papers, exploding on social media.

Chelsea’s in-house media department did their best to correct the situation, quickly issuing clarifications to media. But the result was too many Chelsea fans heard the distorted version before anything else.

Personally, I was happy with Sarri’s first press conference, especially with his ‘having fun’ agenda. It points towards a more attractive, free-flowing style, something Chelsea fans have lost in recent years. But the mishap showed the importance of communications at the elite level in sport – where every utterance is pored over by journalists and fans hungry for news.

Arsenal’s new manager Unai Emery earned plaudits from across the board for attempting his first press conference in English, despite being new to the country.

Sarri will be looking to follow suit and brush up on his English as soon as possible. The sooner he can communicate with media and fans directly, the better!