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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Standard Chartered smacks Liverpool FC for its racism



Luis Suarez, as well as Liverpool FC itself, have just had their bottoms smacked by Standard Chartered. Who? The institution which has a ‘shirt deal’ with Liverpool worth £80 million over four years.

Why is Standard Chartered so antipathetic to racism? Well, I’m not sure that it is, really. However, it is a former British colonial institution; originally based in South Africa and India. And that’s why Standard Chartered is ‘sensitive to racism’. It also has operations almost entirely in the developing world. More precisely, 90% of its income comes from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Indeed the majority of its staff, of 85,000, can be found in these parts of the world.

Thus Standard Chartered must be seen to be - rather than actually be - against racism. No matter how pious and tough its words were (against Suarez and Liverpool FC),it’s how it is heard abroad that really matters. Basically, any connection with racism, even a teeny-weeny bit of racism, may well bite hard into the profits of SC.

In business speak, SC has an international brand reputation - or, at the least, it wants one. In this regard, Liverpool FC and SC are in competition with Manchester United; which, as we now know, is a team with a manager, Alex Ferguson, who’s a warrior for the anti-racist cause...not.

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