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Spoonful of Sugar

Spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down

BBC’s coverage of football titled “Lord Sugar Tackles Football” was aired last night.  You can get a repeat performance on the BBC iPlayer (though apparently it doesn’t work worldwide).

I missed it ‘live’ but caught the repeat performance.  Must say that I felt the programme to be somewhat academic.  It emphasised basics of running a business which we all know have been ignored by many a football club.  Furthermore, it came across as a TV production made for entertainment without any real delving or investigative stuff – just headline stories and stats.  The simple facts of ‘financially keeping ones house in order’ was once communicated accurately at a Stockport County FC fans forum (post mortem) by a member of the Parfett’s family. It’s like a former colleague said to me, “Adrian, the problem with common sense is that it just isn’t common”.

One thing clearly apparent is the game has moved on, becoming a complex maze of commercial forecasting and debts accelerated, since Lord Sugar’s time as Owner of Tottenham Hotspur FC.  Lord Sugar sold his majority stake at Tottenham to ENIC (leisure group) for £47 Million.  He has described his time at that club as “a waste of my life”.

We were reminded of the £800M purchase by Glazer’s of Manchester United FC, with “extreme borrowings”.  Long live FCUM.

Surprised that Harry Redknapp said he didn’t know the wages of any players at his club. Karen Brady was an articulate contributor to the show and I always thought her to be a plausible candidate for a top job at the Football Association.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Graeme #

    I just watched this on the iplayer. I was truly amazed that Harry Redknapp doesn’t know what any player at Spurs earns. Who decides how much a player is worth? The chairman? The chief executive? A “non-football” person? Surly the person best placed to decide is the manager. No wonder so many mediocre players are on high wages in the PL.

    May 10, 2011
  2. Mark #

    I completely agree, and it’s my long held belief, that the greed of agents, and players are killing not only the clubs, but also the special magic of football. To play for YOUR club, win trophies for them, and bring great pleasure to your community. To have the privilege, and be content to make a living doing what many of us do merely for pleasure is a thing of the past. The way I see it players are now mercenaries, and kings of the media celebrity age, and demand the financial trappings that go with it. They are no longer the local heroes that I grew up admiring. The media age may have brought a a lot of money, glitz and glamour to the game, but I can’t help feeling that the sport of football is a lot poorer for it.

    May 10, 2011
  3. Amarjeet #

    I watched the programme thinking that it would deal with the “bunging” and deals via agents, however it interviewed people in different roles as an introduction, it did not delve deep into the issues nor deal with the problem Chairmen. It certainly did nottackle the role of agents. If one compares buying a house and getting a mortagage to buying Manchester, then I have lost property because an estate agent preferred another purchaser to me – simple personal preference. I am sure this sort of thing happens.

    On the issue of players pay packets, well why can’t these e regularised? Especially in the current climate of masses of job losses amongst the people who would buy the tickets to watch them play …. it’s not fair nor just nor right!! It really makes my heart bleed to see and hear that clubs have failed to win players heart and that the players do not even have loyalty to their “job” and it is often visible on the football fields.

    Anyway, I am sure that salary scalescan and NEED to be set as they are set in other sport and rugby was cited. I am employed under a contract of employment and have agreed to work to a salary according to my profession, surely it is the same principle that can be applied to football since employment law applies throughout!! Common sense and business sense! Make this principle of salary scales Europe-wide!! We might see passion in football.

    Maybe the media has a role to play in all this. We should raise the profile of other professionals and not just footballers and celebraties!!


    May 11, 2011
  4. N Lewis #

    Lord Sugar gave a very open and refreshing view on the state of our national game. The programme really has confirmed our worse fears that the Premiership has become an uncontrollable financial beast.
    I work for the NHS, and I would like to see if Lord Sugar could give an open and enlightening assessment of the state NHS!

    May 11, 2011
  5. Martin #

    It could be argued that West Ham already had serious financial problems when Brady, Gold and Sullivan took over and they pledged to get the club back on the straight and narrow.

    Having survived narrowly last season they sacked Zola and appointed Avram Grant, then bankrolled the loaning of expensive and injury prone players like Robbie Keane in the January window only to lead the club to relegation and an even more serious financial position. Brady must take some resposibility for the position the West Ham now finds itself in.

    In my opinion her knowledge of football matters is not too great either. I am pretty sure I remember that she closed down the Birmingham City youth development programme in the early part of her career as a cost saving measure. She was also not flavour of the month with the new Birmingham City regime following various inappropriate perks she secured for herself even after she left the club. I really fail to see how Karren Brady is a plausible candidiate for any job at the FA, let alone a top job.

    May 16, 2011

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