This article in today’s Evening Standard sums up what we love about our chairman. It’s articulate, a little eccentric with plenty of laugh out loud moments but it’s generally right on the button.
He’s absolutely right about the crazy wage structure in the top flight, which threatens to cripple clubs who get their sums even slightly wrong. There’s a not too thinly veiled dig at Jimmy Bullard in there too. And, as someone has already pointed out on TIFF this morning, the division of the television money really needs to be sorted out. Not that the top four – who enjoy the largest slice of the pie from each TV deal – would ever back any sort of reform.
It smacks the silly Standard down pretty hard as well. For your enjoyment, I’m going to reproduce the whole thing below:
Do you want to know the latest score at Fulham FC? I don’t mean from our last match – I mean in general.
Let me tell you. It’s 6-0. No, make that 8-0. To me. Because I own the best club in the world, with the best team and the best fans.
I want to reassure people of this, because sometimes there are naughty rumours (even in this paper) that I may sell the club.
If anyone thinks I’m not committed to the game, or to Fulham, they’re wrong. Any so-called expert who wants to say differently is an ignorant idiot. I have nurtured my club lovingly for nearly 12 years, and I don’t plan to give it up. In fact, when have you ever known me to give up on anything?
I am not going to give up on other things in the game either. Take my crusade against sky-high players’ wages. Our expenses bill rose by 17 per cent last year. How can it be right for top players to be earning £15, £20 million a year? It’s crazy. These wages need to be capped.
But I worry that it won’t happen, because the Premier League and the FA are run by donkeys who don’t understand business, who are dazzled by money. If the world wants to keep players in pocket for tens of thousands of pounds every week, then let the Premier League and the FA negotiate with Sky and other broadcasters for a share of the billions that they make in profit from our product, from my product.
Because at present, they don’t. All around the world, football fans are paying to watch top matches on TV. And yet do most clubs see any of that money? No: we are hopelessly dependent on our end-of-season league placing to determine our share of the cash – it makes a difference of feast or famine every season. Yet even then, except for the top four clubs, we’re only talking about a difference of a few million, which doesn’t get you far.
I want to help other clubs. I speak my mind, and other chairmen should, too. They need to wake up from their coma and join me in this fight with the Premier League and the FA.
In fact, they can come and have lunch with me at Harrods, where I can serve them stags’ testicles from my Scottish estate, Balnagown. We all need big balls in this business.
Absolutely fantastic. And a great way to start the day.