It’s true that if you try to hide a problem you can just end up making matters worse in the long run. It’s true of the balding man with the conspicuous and cringeworthy comb-over and it’s true in marketing and PR.

Recently an Italian soccer team struggling to sell tickets to their ground had a bit of a brainstorm and came up with the most ridiculous ‘solution’ ever.

Serie B side Triestina were drawing crowds of around 4000 people to their 32,454-seat Stadio Nereo Rocco on a consistent basis. They tried various marketing and promotional drives to get bums on seats – even resorting to offering €1 tickets to people who had spent over €20 on their shopping and all to no avail.

So what did they do? Well they created the stadium equivalent of a comb-over. They closed an entire stand and dragged a giant poster showing ‘fake fans’ over it.

Triestina fake fans

A bizarre reminder that the club can’t attract fans which must be tough for the players and negative international media coverage. Hardly a winning result.