Wayne Rooney faces 'big rebuild' of reputation after private life allegations

Wayne Rooney faces rebuilding his reputation to avoid impacting his sponsorship deals, a PR boss has warned.

Facing 'big rebuild' of reputation: Wayne Rooney
Facing 'big rebuild' of reputation: Wayne Rooney

A story in the Sunday Mirror alleged the Manchester United striker paid prostitutes for sex as his wife Coleen was expecting the couple’s first child, Kai, now 10 months old.

Rooney has multi-million pound endorsement deals with Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda and Coca-Cola.

It follows a week of stories including claims of infidelity by England teammate Peter Crouch, and the divorce of Ashley and Cheryl Cole.

James Herring of PR firm Taylor Herring believes Rooney faces a challenge.

He said: ‘There is a big rebuild of Rooney’s reputation required. This kind of coverage is a million miles away from the role model image sponsors want to see.

‘This is especially true in football where fans include children and their dads. Thankfully the story has not come out on the eve of a big football tournament – we need to see some exemplary conduct from Rooney.’

However, Simon Bristow, an account director at sports PR firm Pitch, doubted the allegations would cause sponsors to distance themselves from Rooney as happened to Tiger Woods last year.

‘This will all blow over - I don’t think this is on the scale of the Tiger Woods story,' said Bristow. ‘Rooney has a very loyal sponsorship base, and I think Nike and Coca-Cola will continue to back him. His name resounds with the audience and people will continue to back him.'

He added: ‘Footballer scandals are ten-a-penny nowadays so people will forget about this fairly soon. However, the sooner he starts scoring lots of goals the better.’

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