E37 Andrew Croker


Hello I'm Richard Gillis welcome to the final unofficial podcast of twenty nine thousand nine this week and Sean went to Wimbledon to me. Andrew croker celebrity home overlooking the common talking to Andrew about his career is like a tour of the sports business over the last forty years people by cast of characters Erickson including mark McCormack Rupert Murdoch and lend bullivant nick among many many others. He's a great storyteller and I'm sure you'll enjoy the next hour or so. In his company we ended up in mills private dining room with Lachlan and James and report pitching we within trying to sell sport or for Sunday's of millions as mentioned this is the final part for twenty nine teen and we'll be back in the first week of January with the first unofficial partner of two thousand twenty. We got some brilliant in guests lined up for the next year and big plans for some live recordings which will share with you. And you course until then myself Sean. And the rest of the unofficial not want to thank you for your company over the course of this year and wish all our regular listeners and merry Christmas a prosperous and safe New Year his Andrew Croker. So we're here with Andrew croker. Now the reason we're here there's lots of reasons but we've done about forty podcast in forty weeks Andrew and the number of times that your name in comes up from various sources and I thought well. Why don't you just taught the blow himself so that's why we're here? Thank you for inviting us your lovely house here. We are looking what. How is that Eighteenth Wimbledon common very nice beautiful sunny day and the cab drivers who coming down said? I don't know the numbers. If they don't have numbers so he was. He said I didn't come down very often. But thank you anyway. Your career has got a number of jumping off points which we're going to go through but some of the stories that we're telling today are you can tell through your your your career and there there are moments which will dwell on as we go through but people have a certain vintage will know your Dad Ted croker and I'm wondering if it was inevitable that e went into sport is that is that true is that it was always going to happen. I don't think so my father Who died twenty years ago now and was became moves secretary but then became general secretary of the FAA and he was appointed in nineteen seventy three and and we grew up in Cheltenham. Then there was very little football on television. He had though he had been a professional footballer and played for John Lewis letting most of the people and he'd also been a pilot at the end of the war and extorting he'd gone off a bit in industrialised and he was somebody who really lived in the past in any way so we had no connection with football disposing disposing business. And the age of twenty. I was University of dropped out and I decided that becoming accountants was probably the best way to keep Martians Open. Because I haven't got any idea what I wanted to do. And so I was relocating to London. In the summer of ninety seventy three and unknown to me my father who had been on a flight to Spain because he was in the concrete business it was reading the tea and he'd seen an ad for the to be sexually the FAA. And I think he was just a little bit fed up with corporate life. He was then in his late forties and he said he applied for the job. Didn't tell my mother for some time. They didn't tell me right so the the end when he got the job and sopa purely by coincidence are arrived in London in August. Nineteen seventy-three and I'm pig in the counterpoint. Why then salary six hundred pounds? A year had nowhere to live. But majorly likes to gate which was then it will remember was of of the the FAA There was a flat came with job so on moved into the FAA and so for four years on had hot keys. And I used to come in and Part the CARNE lived lived rent free in this flat with my dad above the FAA. And he would go downstairs to flaws to work in the morning the couple really on the weekends he went back to into Cheltenham and then and it was a different world but I was then immediately completely immersed me. We were three nights a week so I was every boardroom of every football club and then he also also handle this interaction with the other sports in the guys from from Wimbledon and having of these world and and the rugby people arrested so I just got to meet everybody and at the same time my mate from Chelm who was sort of just about a school with John Watts who still works in sports and it's one of the best directors. He was distorted internship at the BBC radio and then he got into the sport and we became great mates and through him. I got to meet people on the other side of it the people. Oh who worked for the ITV's Paul BBC Sport then and solar just just one thing led to another. So was it inevitable. I would work in sport. What may be my me? And my first job qualify went to work for ladbrokes in answering Uxbridge in Bingo halls of social clubs in Aintree dot tracks in the end. It was great fun so it was really. Maybe it was inevitable once I got into it but it was a different world been in terms of opportunities to work sports. Sort of appointment of your dad. Just finish that off it was the FAA he was a successful businessman and the FA wanted to be more businesslike. Is that they want to have that. Bring that expertise. There's no question catalysts for him getting the job. The incumbent was alkyl Dennis follows who some remember and I don't hardacre was his was fully as follows was it was a former bowker. which is the airline policy? He was a trade union guy really and he was very old school and I think they just felt that we were many years away from from Sky TV and other things that he needed a fresh look and the more commercial outlook and and because also my father had played he he was a direct contemporary. If people like Malcolm Allison those other people say and you say he had instant sort of credibility with those people and Which helped him enormously sleep and he was also? He was a very rounded small individual and am very well. Light teams quite media savvy them and he was he was great fun and the the the sort of when you look at the FA today that same impulse is still there. Is I mean you. You can see in the appointments of people that they're they a pick to run the thing they're still trying to balance those you know the broader fa with the commercial expertise some multi lend for example companion Muslim. But there is a you can see a line of thought there I think he has changed so radically starting from the relationship with say the secretary of the chairman of that's changed aged honestly in every organization and I think we could do separate focused on choosing chief executives of sports organizations where I think there have been some high profile disasters and some high profile successes. I I do things very old the way that we don't really have a very clear succession. You look at some David instead the NBA had Adam silver was working for him for thirteen years. There's a natural succession. I remember once Saint Jonathan Hill. Who worked at the FA? You said if you ever want to be chief executive at your best chance is to leave and apply could because internally you just that's not how it works and says fascinating the Richard masses now got job Riley after eighteen months after a process that I think most people would describe as fairly chaotic. But also it's interesting on. That question is the aspiration ratio. What what that process tells you about the people who are making the decision what they want what? They're projecting onto a person outside they don't see internally something in that isn't it. Yes I it's real generalization but I think quite often organizations focus on on May long-term appointments for short term reasons. Is I remember you know if you suddenly your biggest problem and challenge facing for example the Premier League is the biggest challenge is how we're going to keep revenues and broadcast revenues high. Therefore you think you need somebody who is digital will do you need some digital or or do you say actually there's a whole bunch of people work at the previously. They've been doing this for ten years. They know every single possible way. You can cut the pie up. What you need is a chief executive and what you need is a gentleman because the role is managing all these disparate people? It's the government. The police the football league UEFA fever. You name it. And then you've got your twenty shareholders who are fairly entertaining charismatic bunch and what you need is a CEO who can manage that and pull those things together. And I'm not necessarily sure we'll just say actually what we need is somebody who's worked in digital broadcast is necessary. I don't connect the two things and that's probably why they didn't give Richard Moss's talking personally. But that's why the the commercial person quite often doesn't get the job because they they're seen as a bit narrower than your your defined definition of a chief executive may be true but more balloons gall job of the FA and I think if you have worked internally in an organization irrespective of which bitter that you work in you know how it works. You know the issues you face with governance issues you face with combs with P. R. With management. I mean my follow she said the FA how brilliant job he did it was. Do we qualify for the World Cup and if you qualify for the world can you do. Well you're doing a great job and we. We didn't qualify seventy twenty four so when my father arrived Alf. Ramsay was still the manager and the first game we went to September. Seventy-three was England. Poland one all-wheel remember it and then my father's I always tasks was to oversee south leaving and then the appointment Don revie so that. That's that's quite a challenge. And then he knows I can't remember exactly but the groups we got those you could. You could find yourself in the qualifying group with West Germany as well. So we didn't go to seventy four all seventy eight world cups and that's what you are measured by and oversee then after that way too We did so. It's that's how you will will always be judged. I think if you run the the national tells you see right now the FA. There's a real buzz about the national team. We're playing well. The women's team's doing fantastically well young young players coming through so the rest of it is juggling stuff and making stuff happen and there's a lot behind the scenes but you were always judged by the performance of the national team. Yeah yeah so being charged when when winning success happens helps claiming credit. Think okay. I'm Jay let's just jump forward because you there's a whole raft of things that you involved in actually not. It's not going to Orangey so quickly. I WANNA talk about B Sky B. Yeah how did you end up there. And what did you sort of. I've learned from that experience because that you're just land us in that world. Yup moment well I'd been involved with Chile to productions which was up fear of a certain age you remember windy. Channel launched in Nineteen eighty-two American Football Institution on Nicky Horne Malls Aitken. The whole thing Sunday night at the music. John Smith Everything Fron van so I. I joined cheerleader. After got that Channel Four contract because she wasn't GonNa do any sport. agok dairy brandon had persuaded Jeremy Isaacs. They should do some sport and let's come up with something alternative tentative which was nfl recorded mash the daytime show and live English basketball and they knew a cheerleader that they needed to do something else. Because you couldn't just have all your eggs in that Channel Bosque exhibiting together commission. That was the end of the business so my job. My join was to develop business elsewhere and the first two things enough we went off and did Started producing highlight shows which was West Nile Ian. Patrick Nali many listeners who recall and the other one which is very tiny. It was a GEICO mark. Walters started and he'd got the rights to Syria around the world so he needed to make a weekly highlight show. So I produced a made this week. These weekly highlight shows. There's an oddball tireless. Do the commentary. Who We've been onto? Have what exactly whatever happened to Mr Tyler and and so I did that and it was enormous fun and then my my father said to me I remember one day said if you need these guys at BSP because it was then yeah because there were two different things. So I said now I didn't know so that would be eighty seven and he said well they came to see me. They're going to be doing all this stuff and I said all right so I went off and I got myself in front of them. They're impart lane then and I said on a pitch them an idea of how they do sport because they weren't actually planning to spawn very little title so I pitched them an idea and they said actually that's conscious he said. But why don't you money you come work for us. To always employee number five live we then relocated to Marco Polo building down by Betsy Power Station and one thing led to another so it started off his. Could you do two hours of sport tonight and literally within a matter of weeks it was Jimmy getting four hours. Then do you think we could do eight. And then actually what I would do channel and we'll fill it all up so I said yeah so I found myself as as head of sport at BSP and we had a thing called the sports channel and so we started and without question one of the most interesting things I ever digs is our member of the day. I did IT I. I got a piece of paper for a rope with a ruler and a pencil. A weekly schedule with our slots in it. And I'll put it in a photocopying our press fifty to got the whole punch. Put them in a ring binder and I said right and it was literally a blank sheet of paper. What the hell are we going to do? And then started having conversations and to cut a long story short short we did we we did until ironically with the FAA we pitch for FA Cup FA Cup. We thought well we need Scotland's still was obviously then still now pa the union so we we add Scottish League football and we thought all right. We need an English Scottish commentary team so we got Martin Andy Gray and off we went and we had all sorts. Salsa conversations with Barry hearn Olly Croft and all sorts rugby league and cricket and we filled the Shenzhou and a lot of people think that Sky Sports sports started a scar spores. But it didn't really because Murdoch then come from nowhere to put on astro sky his cheapen chauvel version of sky in all worth and we with Roy money at it down in Bazzi and so we had the sports journal and we had the weekly to head of news but then we didn't have a budget to do new so we can then and he became effectively head of sport and and then when the infamous merger happens meadow got rid of yours for which had been his sports channel on Astro and the sports channel was rebranded. I mean the JOE was made. I think our original full year budget was thirty. Five million we were using. I'm Jay to provide programming programming and because a lot of people who was going to be a demand problem actually it was a supply problem because the infamous square remember. It's smart to be square. They won't see small career for techies thing work. And if you've still got one now you probably use you as a bird type because it was hopeless and we reckoned in the first year of broadcasting the number review as we had it would have been cheaper. Actually send every viewer to every single event that we've covered the super bowl and the rest of it but I had an enormous amount of fun from there because it was creating channel CRATIA channel. Identity hiring talent Doing rights deals and it was. It was a brave new world. I loved it. I mean not my like my career has always been startups. I mean I've never had a job that I inherited from anybody else. It's always been the blank sheet. Two pipeline loved the photo carpenter is GonNa make something happen here and Murdoch at that point so this is pre primarily. Oh yes yeah. Yeah I mean this is this is pretty well documented. This was betting the ranch on this and nearly I mean that merger happening he was is right and you have to admire. It seems to be characteristic of those sort of people that they are prepared to the ranch and he was he was betting. The ranch on making pay-tv pay-tv work which of course in the end he did. But you know you remember that the dark days of Scott when they the only revenue source habits from the coffee machine. I mean it was not you know anyone goes back and reads the history of these things it was it was a it was a challenge from there. Then is that just on just pausing on cheerleader. Really differ second. We saw that too. But I mean I remember that very own that generation where I can I can remember channel four and I really got into American foot when away the and then when it went off. Geno foyer and I'm not into it now. No and I'm sometimes wonder why and it was. Almost it's like there was a sort of it was television product. There was a sort of exoticism to get to know people from a distance the Fridge John Regan Dan Marino types when they started to come over to London play. The the sort of magic cited dissipate for me and it became. What's funny because of listening to your Henry Chapel? PODCAST talk about do American sports work over here and I think that the things we had this magic when we started that nobody knew anything about it and it was a brilliant format because if you remember. NFL films these guys going with sixty mill and shooting every game so by the time the following Sunday Sunday came. We'd had we had all footage of every game we had the NFL films stuff. We were then portable is rock music on it and it had it was it was frustrated. And you're right it was the redskins with riggings. It was Chicago bears. It was German Tanna. It was Dan Marino. It was the very sexy teams and all of us but it did become a victim the unsuccessful I remember when we started doing the Super Bowl long people this is going on a date and what else and so the inevitable it became. I think a little bit. The victim of its success is that nobody wants to watch the they. They realize that the long form was nothing like is exciting and of course what was happening was the newspapers were carrying the results. So it was a massive spoiler and it was not but and also served on the back of channel four being brave new world as well and so it it did change and and you know we did baseball and we did other sports. Broadly other American sports here. But I think that was the challenge with NFL. It's very high. I've always taken the view that people want to change the world map. All American sports would like to have a presence around the world. But if you actually look at where the world's Sporty Matt was back then in the eighty s and where it is now which countries have actually really embraced a new sport. You might say basketball's got stronger in China but has cricket really really call honest anywhere new. No probably not has baseball. Probably don't it's actually very hard to get genuine real grassroots support. Offer a sport in a new market. Yeah and also Yes we played basketball here but nobody plays NFL. Because it's just too complicated advocated. And it's the London franchise these conversations as Beginning they they sort of these strands that go back thirty forty fifty years in some cases he's but the NFL franchise compensation is one sort of hardy perennial two we have annually but it is a different type of relationship. I guess isn't it. When you're from MM someone watching a highlight show to then being a redskins fan different bears fan? I suppose still technically I couldn't name a says plan now because I don't follow the team but just because at the time I love the Bears Waco Bob Payton some of you remember from Chicago Pizza Pie Factory. We actually hired him as our present because as we did a sky. NFL show was presented. He was fantastic. You know. We're seeing big agency groups still making that pumped on me in terms of baseball the summer you've had the NFL in town a lot of money still making saint back. Yes I can understand that. And they'll continue to do that but at least now bring you over. Competitive Games makes think does make a huge difference. I I'M GONNA walk sat group with Johnny Hill. Yes which brings us to I N G so he was. He was a new. Were very much involved in a couple of questions. And we're talk. We're into the nineties now. And he said ask him about. I know what you're GONNA say. What do you think he's going to ask me about Mark Viduka on the list? Yeah what else Gazza. He said the fee for Cairo convention or in the way. Let's talk about him up. Well the thing was when I went to a very very very good friend of mine Could in taught who was running I am g outside America at the time also literally got me almost on a bicycle which was another life changing thing and and he had held the view which is fairly obvious that it was. It was bizarre. The number one sports agency the world. I'm Jay was not involved in one. Mm Sport in the world that there had been a hysterical thing where at one point they sent off emission from the US to go South America to write a report. Because I did not on very little presence to be sent off to come to turn South America comeback with a report a report. I remember seeing a copy of flicking through going to get to football. What am I going to war? It was tennis Polo. There was your name but there was no football in it and you thought it just wasn't in their mindset and and so I joined I'm Jay took my partner in Crime Paul Smith who was a legendary sports marketeer. Who would have been working with Frank Lowe with the reason not going to? I was working for Frank. Lowe the advertising bureau who then became autism but at the time he had got a business called the white company changes name to all. I was running that and we tried to bar. CPA which from Gog Alan Callan. Who Was Sports Industry Guru aroo sadly no longer with us and we were that had the commercial rights to the Rugby World Cup and they also under Scottish Odin A? We thought this was a no brainer. But I could. We couldn't get this square peg of we've got future rights of future revenues and a contract into the round hole of how into public route. which was the Holding Company both staff and we got very frustrated and we were trying to this deal for three months and intone ended up doing on the phone in two hours with Alan Callan Liz frustration? And so pulling I'd we're ready to even even even then said to me. We ought to be doing something to football so he said. Why don't you come so I went to? I'm Jay because of the in and we hit the ground running with immediately really we got into the FAA. We're trying to deal with Wembley to create a commercial program and they couldn't do it without Wembley putting their rights in this bizarre is actually actually went back to my father at the FA been when they had the Olympic gallery around the top of Wembley. You're part of the deal for Wembley to build that was the deal with the FAA was the FA seed some brought to light premature advertising to Wembley so the FAA could never put a commercial program together until they put those rights together and to do that. You have to buy Wembley. Therefore they needed to guarantee and as I g we came in put up a guarantee the FA we can't we came up with commercial called total football very very innovative and we created a New England. Commercial Program called team England. We went off. We we sold them. We sold two little words if you remember. The we sold green flagged for the national team and only went and that was an enormous amount. Success and Jonathan Hill was so I was doing that at I N G Jonathan who was our client so he was the commercial director of the FA working on Euro Ninety six which was which is another Enormously fun project including coming up with the idea of the Umbro Cup. We came up with that so I'm an broke up was the idea was and I. I'm going to give Paul Smith most of the credit for this but I'm Patrick Patrick. Little bit is the one who said why not do test of the year before the IOS now. Everybody does it at the Monday toe to everybody. Now does a test event with the Stadia Media Ninety five it was. I'm going to try remember now. Certainly Sweden Japan Brazil England and we played games around the country and it was actually funny. Is that when we sold the rights to the Japan we let them have the sponsored. They had an option on the sponsorship rights. ooh That's do was tell us who the sponsor was that we were going to call it that anyway. The date came and went so with months to go to the tournament when sponsor sorry memory at Multan Polaroid Umbro Said said multi wanted decent. Well Yeah East. How much is it? How much have you got said? I'll give you twenty five thousand. I said done it became the Umbro Cup and they loved and loved it so much that the end of the tournament gives another twenty five because they simply just be the best thing we've ever done so we did the Umbro Cup and it was a great success and that was the forerunner for your eighty six. which is which is a great success and then Jonathan came and joined us after your ninety six because he really was? There wasn't the same job there because he'd been commercial director of your ninety six so so he came over at the same time at I. G McCormack personally had always wanted us to get into play management. And I don't like being the play light manage a business. My background was right. Sky Federation Gospel Ship Guy But managing football as I was taught to me if I went into this or the players bar football football ground it was like you know the bar in Star Wars. I mean to me. I don't it's not my world more and in in the boardroom of Fine Committee David Dana. In my suit fine I can do all that but you put me in that thing. It's just it wasn't me but he was determined that we were going to do this. So what him and I never thought it was a really good fit. And you've only got to read you know. The stories of the Telegraph investigation will sustain on this week. There's always going to be the dark arts in that area. Yeah and I thought I'm g enjoyed and still does an amazing reputation for athlete representation. Yeah representing then be on board top. GOPHERS gophers goes back to Arnold Palmer. The handshake everything like that. The idea then Tronto look after football us which is a different world but he was keen that we should do it so we went tov and we acquired about four or five agents around the world brought them into the fold but trying to manage them was the the challenge. Anyway we had an agent Bernie mandate she was in. He's originally Yugoslav. He'd been based in Australia and Mark Viduka was an Australian gone who it was playing for Dinamo Zagreb but this is the time when then Yugoslavia was a very very tough place to be and there was a guy go to German who was the despotic tick local warlord. Whatever and he was seen as he's boy and he had he had a really tough time? Big Guy many of you remember played for Middlesbrough play for Celtic. That seems like a freight Gemini New Great Player. Lovely gone anyway. He got transferred to Celtic. And then when he got here he just basically I think he may have had a bit of post traumatic stress. He sort of went walkabout and I found myself in the thick of this Jonathan Hill and I found ourselves in Dogrib in the snow with Fergus. McCann who was in the chairman of Celtic in basically a car chase and I remember. I remember the exact with Jonathan. I was sitting in the back of the concept. I actually think this is how I was going to go asset. A set is slow down to tells. It's they know where we're going. We went they ended up having this shuttle diplomacy up and down in this hotel and at one point he he ended up mark in hiding in our house and I was living in poverty and Jim White was doorstep in me and it was all stuff going and I remember unfocused McCain was in Florida whose ring at four in the morning and I remember Joanna saying one of us is going. Is it me or is it mark. I said I said it's Mark Okay and so it was just. It's a funny story now but at the time it was very stressful. It wasn't my world and I didn't know it and I just never thought he was a great fit for. I'm Jay Martin. What is to be? I think it's sort of fizzled out. What was what was McCormack? Like he was extremely guy. I would say that those very briefly I think I work for the two guys who both shaped our industries no question whatsoever the mark shape. The industry streamed so many ways particularly with athlete representation with the infamous and chat with Arnold Palmer and then representing tennis players and that led to other things like for example representing Wimbledon. I also worked for Horst Astle. who had come from the other side was then it was the son of Eddie Dassler? Who founded an horse dassler was? I would say a I would say invented federation marketing with Patrick me. She's ally nine hundred seventy eight. When the First World Cup people wanted to expand the workout handle the money needed commercial income? And they did that. We're creating the soccer four program so mark was a guy and he grew that business and remember one saint-marc we had our famous sort of shooting. Glenn getaways that he was I said to him. I said would you rather be ten percent more profitable ten percent bigger and you will not be any wasn't really sure I mean he. He was not an Ebay doggone. This was this was. This was a different time before private equity. This was when he just wanted to grow. The business have amazing people amazing clients and he disliked being in the business for being in the business and it just wasn't run. I mean he loved the fact that he would get seduced. ACACIA by Wall Street say Arcade Flight Your Business. But he wasn't isn't really. I never sensed he was bullet. I I would say that I'm Jay would have been a different animal if he had been prepared to share more of the equity and the upside with some of his senior people and I think that the great thing which he said as an inbuilt redundancy in what we we do as agents the better job you do for client the more likely you are to get fired so you know you take you pay them guarantee you go out and get sponsors you you do a great job but the next cycle they go. Well we don't need the guarantee because they're going to renew so we don't WanNa pay you that commission we want to pay you less and therefore you have to permanently reinvent yourself and therefore to and to operate in that environment you need to be a real entrepreneur. You need to be risk-taker and as our businesses grown particularly into the new ERA PEOPLE WANNA be compensated in line with the fact that you know. You're the dealmaker. You're an entrepreneur. So I think he saw if you say something like James Erskine Skins typical guy who went off to do. I'm Jay Australia and then left to do his own thing. And you saw Ian Leave and go to Nike and then come back and do other things and I think you you could say that of other guys lower down the organization. That's what we did. I I went to. I'm Jay is a mature student. A lot of people when they're when they young came up through the law department all the finance department. Yeah I went as a mature. I must be nearly forty when our went. So I was a grown-up but I love the experience. Because it was amazing can-do environment there were a lot of agencies for fiddling around and we're making any money but when you walk through I'm Jay. When they went for a piece of work you know we can get this? We will make this work. They had a phenomenal track record record. Sorry to say that the the answer to the sort of the agency dilemma. Their ED redundancy point is ownership presumably is that is that because mccomb it was always. There was an early example. I need to own the event as well in terms of Gulf. That's and then we use and I'm certainly got into. The business of owning Gulf events will match play owning tennis events. There was a logic. Then I think then and there wasn't enough now there would be a lot more scrutiny of people saying Oh you know there's got to be Johnny's walls conflicts of interest but then just making stuff happen and I you think that a lot of people who have invested in sports sports agencies thinks it's about during the due diligence on the contracts that you have in the people you represent but in fact it's about it's about people and advertising agencies used to this The people go down to the left is the talent hines choose to drop your next next next week. And they go to another agency but they'll be pitch piece of business and I think the agency business as he was and clearly that has changed completely now the agency business has this was was very much about people but I'm Jay also had a lot of Ip and things that he owned. Yeah you can see that today. Only obviously we're now now looking at endeavor you know and and that is based on buying will again make bets I guess is the same. The processes is happening. Yes we see. I mean if you say you know in from buying on man certainly endeavour with say UFC which there connected with or yes you can buy assets as agencies now but The world is changing is a good book about McCormick has never been Emini. wrote books himself But there's never been a question on biography. Naught there must be one but I'm learning I think there was a guy is only there was a guy who wrote who he worked with wrote articles and his name was not writer. And that's that's true and I think he. Yeah so when there was a sort of a magazine articles or you know day in the life of Martin. I think outrider was the guy who did that. We always used to get these these monthly notes about his favorite favorite restaurants and things like tips new then had to give the five people. You wanted to send it to Brian. Okay fine so you so do so. He lied to all that but is there. Is there a definitive negative biography. I don't know I mean I think that something. I'll have full about these. A book about the sports industry would be quite interesting one today. All the history of sports business sports marketing surely. Surely you're the man to Toronto. I think yes. That's another story right. Let's go then to. We're now into the nineties and sport five again and and other sort of agency which I want Mitt Janklow Domo and character. What was that speak French? I didn't but he was sort of. Well let me just exactly how it got there. Was it so interesting interlude. which is vaguely topic so in? We're not. We're not unfinished at I M G and the reason I left I'm Jay was Ian Todd goal and there are a lot of changes the management on to a lot of and I come to run. Its course ready for me. That would have an enormous amount of fun doing it. Then I was. It was quite interesting Tom Because I went for the for the only time I've gone for a job that somebody else was already the incumbent I went for the job to as the CEO of the Premier League so it got down to to go down to me and scooter more. And I think they made the right decision. I don't think I would have said he wouldn't have had the stamina and other originated an amazing job and I don't think I could've done as good a job and it's probably not really for me a good thing but I did bounce into sportel. which was the sort of making the leap to the to the brave new world of of New Media Media and sport was ahead of its time because in fact at the end of it I'm G I had also had involvement with new media so we'd gone off and got three website contracts that I'm Jay? Thank you mentioned United Bacelona and Brazil which is back and I told that was going to be springboard for what we would do in digital opposed just a Twa. What he was doing then and then I then went to author where it was all go rob herself and it was hysterical and And we were surfing on this. This bubble the DOT COM Combo absolutely dot Com right in the sweet spot and we had sportel now and we doubt Armand Ba- flying back from a holiday in Capetown so I could gum pitch to the Manati Board to put sport loan the money not sure. Can you imagine and it peaked. For one of the highlights. Lots of my life was was guys New York herself and we to meet Murdoch and we ended up in middle private dining room with Lachlan and James and report pitching Ching. Then trying to sell spoiler for Sunday's of millions and callow police. We're also looking at it. Everything and then of course in early two thousand the bubble burst and even a sport will was categorically a great idea but it was ahead of its time and people were just about still doing dial up and it was it. It was just just wasn't going to get that but it was conceptually. It was the right thing to do and it could have been a great business. And if the bubble had burst maybe we would have got it away and sold it so but I I had big. I was friends with Jerem. Valk who was then he had run sportplus which is part of and accomplice and when I'm Jay one of the things we did was. We went for the overseas rights for Premier League TV and we went and we ended up in a joint venture with Fox which was a guy called Inflict Burger Legend in this day. No longer with us. Wonderful Man Jerome representing us and us as I'm Jay and we actually did. We d the Two cycles that so we did. We did six years of that and I became very good friends with Jerome. who was then running sportplus? Then I agreed with him came on leaving sport although I would if they renewed I would work continue to what was prosper sportplus then integrated with don the infamous gentle Donald Duck Doc and who for sports which was the gym so I found myself then in the early two thousands working for sport five which was great because the French will in Paris. The gyms were in Hamburg. And there's no way I I couldn't work with Donald because we didn't have a common language for start and Jerome then moved off from went to to fever and so I worked with German guards. Were great guys to work with based in Hamburg and then what really happened at sport five was that and that was great fun. I enjoy. It wasn't it was. Let me just get on with what I was doing here. Then what happened was that they wanted they. They were rights traders basically the Germans they bought and sold. TV rights particularly from European Federations European clubs. Now the game. Everybody knows how it works. Go Nova the club's came out of the drawers and Algorithm and arrested and they also did this thing called comprehensive marketing so in Germany they have clubs who they did the entire marketing. for which is something we tried over here but we we couldn't make it work so we've so that got abandoned and then they said rob with these TV rights but we didn't do anything with an and Muniz brave new digital world. What should we be doing so I said Okay right song work on as a project so a worse starting at the end of two thousand six into two two thousand seven? I started to work on this and in my usual way I went off. Met Everybody and it included in that on you saw mundane yet. Because he'd been at until you W roy and he'd left because it wasn't working out and take the few guys who starts up a little business cooling form and then I'd heard about premium TV which which is sort of the full hour then. TRL was still trudging along and was owned by a group of bondholders and being run by almost to Charleston China but only slipper very young and I co called him. I'll never forget needs to do so. I see yeah so I went round to see all the and I just. I don't boost his ego but in my thought Broad Smart Young Guy Anyway so I then sport five was by advent private equity and they were in two thousand seven in the sale process and they were trying to sell spoke five. You're talking about eight hundred eight hundred fifty million euros that's also range in. which they they were selling it and I was trying to get this deal done saying I pitch this idea? I said what you need to do is kicked out this by couple of small companies not suggested these two but this was dealer was going to be fifteen or twenty million pound and I couldn't get any traction while they were despic so process was going early on and also the gym is lit should be in Hamburg French in Paris and I said it has to be in London because that is where it's all going on so it's to cut long story short. I have a great great friend of mine called Michael and opposite. He'd been helping me when I was putting the numbers in the deal together and we. We were sitting in a Fox and grapes which is barely one hundred yards from where we are now and he said to me one Sunday night. I understand why you don't do this yourself. How what I do that and he said well if you build it they will come? He said well. I'm not going to tell you how to do it. And so trump is a short story. I said okay so I came home and I sat in this very office that we city in now and I went through my contacts. An awesome Banker private equity done a private equity deal Everybody who was a candidate and I just started writing emails to contact you. People there was a guy called in west who had worked for sky and Sam Chisholm and was a top up TV and he said go see. See this guy called your Mojo so semi mail so that was a Monday Thursday. I'm standing in your Mohammed's office and he was a providence equity and he was packing his office it was literally had Kabul boxes and his son pitched in the day while he's package office and I said where are you going. He said I'm going to work for access industries WHO's that he said a guy called limbo that next so I said okay so he said when you start he said Monday I said well good luck. Shook hands walked out Friday. He brings this. What do you do Monday morning? I said so eight thirty Monday morning I was in Lens House. He was in his tennis. Kitty just at a tennis and I pitched him the idea in twenty minutes or whatever and he said well that's good. I think we should do that. And I thought that's never gonNA happen so I went back to Simon and all I said well. Yes Oh anything will these things like not like that. Is the color storage show. It all happened so he. We bought Premium TV. We bought informed with put the two businesses together Simon and only became joint. CEO's this is summer two thousand seven. I became chairman and off. We went and that was. That's how it that's how it happened. So it was a sequence of events in lock and and of course ironically advent then sold till I get there and like a bought Sport Five World Sport Group and so the rest is history will see how it all pans out again into a current store. Isn't it yes but I mean does zone is and that that story just feels like a and we were. Obviously we were talking to too early on the podcast last US mob. It just feels like the story of the moment and where and following that. He's going to tell us quite a bit in terms of how the next decade is going to again as a Caribbean trump to hang around intelligent successful people and only in Simon. I think have been genuinely pioneers in despite a never ever settled laurels and the things that you know performed did watching Bet Service Omni sport. There was a lot of innovation and and we were growing because we appealed. And when you when you want Peo- you have to have prophets growth in a story over time in the list of it. I don't think that suited really really lens view of life of being entrepreneurial and fast moving all the rest of it so taking pride which then gave a huge amount flexibility and you can take much longer term view of things you can invest in things and really the then re really to go for it with his own which is which is a huge Aw Changes Direction for business effectively. The old perform B. Two B. Business got sold off to Vista and became staff perform and the entire focus now is on design and designers a business and yesterday's agree I think he's defining and the you know the time when everyone even the people down somewhere it's about talk. Ott is if they do it. It's a fascinating business. The other I mean as well as your point point about sort of talented people you've proximity to very rich people is also a feature of your career so you mentioned McCormick Murdoch and Lavat. Nick is there something in common with those two is there is that they just happened to be enormously always. Is there something that you see is a common trait they'd got off Are Suspect Nichols middle. Have the biggest similarities in big media players. I mean I think if you want to go back and look at what. I think. There was an article about Tom Len when he joined to Leeann Basel which is chemicals. Business was the greatest in the history. Wall Street extraordinaire. What he's done with music as well? I think I think probably the differences that I suspect if you mark had an absolute love of what he was in the business and the sport I I would say Murdoch's love must be presumably of speak for him but my guess media and the deal so I guess they all similar but I don't think I don't think McCormack the he was in it he loved being in it and the profile and and for what he was he was the guy who had invented a business. When you've invented business in your pioneer I think that's different from being somebody? Who is immoral dealmaker? Whatever so I if the very hard to compare yeah you mentioned before Horst Dassler for example you know he was definitely the king maker and he was extraordinary that he came from this background with added? That's where they could make stuff Happen he if he died very sadly when he in the mid eighties when he was just barely fiftieth cancer. If he had stayed around the landscape would definitely be different. Because because I saw would have gone from strength to strength. They had fever. You E I ac- the Double Af was a powerhouse of the business and obviously that went off in a completely the different direction that he would have been so we've probably dreyfus. Maybe it's because he was another these guys they make stuff happen so the ISIL question question and fever and you mention Valco. who was you know was a obviously a senior position within FIFA and down down then discredited? What what's your take from that episode and where are where are we? Now you think when you look at is sal l.. In that in that period we're talking about is still in the noughties there the ramifications of that is still being felt. It's such a complicated subject but I think if you if you just looked at the way you have. I'm sure it's like Major. Corporations is trying to do business. In strange markets the way business got done in eastern Europe in South America Asia Africa. It's a different world out. There from from the highly regulated markets which are controlled by governance. Now it walls then the wild west and the to the to two two. What's happened with a what did happen with fever? That's it's well-documented so but I think I sell was extraordinary business. But he was before and how everything goes to tender and RFP's then unite was like win seventy-eight World Company now on its generate. Raise some revenues. And we'll all do it for you and help you. So they did. They had a very very very close relationship. Did they go out and put it out tender every time. No they didn't the other bit. You mentioned there was about McCormack in this sort of pre private equity ask you about that. In terms of what how that change things in terms of sports relationship to money and the source of finance is it. Is it different now and it was. It's it's no question whatsoever is completely different now. So I don't remember in the Nineties Private Equity I remember Matthew for example you know getting in and sort of being one of the pond is resident private equity deals and then but if you look around now at breakpoint. CBC Bruin these guys are right in the thick of private equity and then of of course productivity getting involved with club ownership and and the rest of it but it's interesting CBC now even getting involved with private equity not with agencies begun directly to sports obviously directly to F one but for example getting involved with rugby that is a different. That's a different Game Fisher potential and yes attention and there is this. There's always access to capital and their people very entrepreneur and also sport is very seductive and we have seen as we've seen with people investing sport. Who Actually Ashley too much about it? And this is no easy than any other business Look there it's not easy. Don't just buy just you me took you need to keep all the people and you you got to incentivize people go out now. The business goes up and down in the lift and use you as you've seen with infront in their a public offering and what's going on. It's easy we're heading towards the sort of finish line but I'll ask about success Eddie. What succession yes? I have more serious too but I have lots as everyone tells megawatt serious to yes. Who's your favorite character and given your just proximity go to murder? And I think all of broncos because he's answers gets in the trenches he just says f. off and he is just. He appeals to me as a character that it's it's very good. You are your book years talk about that. Yeah golden so three and obeyed and the the reason that the jump there is Elizabeth. Murder was one of the crowd that was very. I'm not quite sure that happened because I I. I didn't when I did that thing with unbound. which he's crowdfunding of the three or four people who've read the book no that it with with crowdfunding? What I did was very simple? View that to raise fifteen fifteen thousand that are also going to do that. Fifty pounds at a time on so the best way to do it was two hundred and fifty pounds of time and the offer was if you put fifty pounds you go name checking the book and so i. I knew I'd need to get sixty those. That'd be fun on and on did just lent on people so some people are in as racehorses somebody has to carry a lot of people hybrid so so nobody got called Rich Gillis. If you'd support their beer Richard in the beginning but you wouldn't be there wasn't that so there's the slippers ten years and the whole world's in there so yes he was all but I think she was just think she was just a supporter unbound an adult so there was no. I didn't know that I mean I think I only saw one of the list in the book so there were some interesting I i. This is from a McSweeney piece in the garden saying that Lee Dixon who's on that list yearly eighteen. Yeah some good names. Mark Austin Austin Austin. I have seats together at some a Chelsea and we watch the Games together and he gave me a very very good coach for the cover I think he he called it. A red top state apply. I'm looking at the the bookshelf. Where the last remaining copies on if anybody you've got to the end of this podcast? They too hard copy. Email me because you probably know me. If you follow the podcast email will get Lincoln. And I'll send you a copy for Christmas elicits holiday rate but I did enjoy doing I think so just to finish off on it. It was but it was a red top. It was a sort of looking into see. Have you read it. I haven't ready. Maybe I've read a article now. Is there an audiobook. You should avoid. The thing was that it was going to be the Besley was. This is a guy called completely out of the I got an agent and because I thought it would make a film and Guy called Andrew Eaton metagogued Andrew Eaton Laden massacres potter and he was a top producing the first series of the crown and he said and he was a revolution films with Markowitz. possums and he said it And I feel like a great movie. Oh right any bought the movie rights but unfortunately then it sort of into the usual. You had the movie rights for year paid me and then it lapsed but it was a shame because I thought it was fairly television and I really enjoyed writing. I'm thinking of I was thinking about writing. Talk about the sports business but also a show that for the moment I'm writing on Spec doesn't really appeal to me but I I enjoyed writing. A novel was a huge amount of fun. It was like going to university. I in twenty four hour party wasn't and yet the trip trip. Yes but he and Andrew Eaton and it's often Sullivan operates as an independent now so But but if there's any movie producer television present there listening can send them a treatment of book one day maybe one day so just around off breath. What's what excites you today? Because given we've talked about your career and how many places it's being in talk. What when you look at sport today? What's your we haven't mentioned the Ho- Cycling News? What's the the did you find interesting? What catches your most good question? I guess the the biggest thing is is just the fundamental change in the landscape. Is that the way that obviously the Brokaw's landscape it's very well documented. How that is changing without any question with the the whole business are going direct to consumers cutting out the middleman in some ways I think second the agency landscape is changing plea responsible is changing completely and certainly the federations? The way federations marketing sales is changing completely feel particularly revved up about any particular aspect of it still in the end. It's still about. The sport is still back going to been Japan and watching sport and saying country embrace a new event and do it. Well in the worst of it and goal was believed that still despite absolutely everything the digital experience the the three day that whole thing. It's still still nothing compares that she's being the events and and it's still going to the semi arts. It is still being. There is what it's all about. And that's that's always given me the biggest dispose of your first England football match. My first thing that match was nine hundred sixty six. I went to England. My Dad took me to the non detailed this this is the way before he was at the FA me sound the benches. And then I did actually then as retin Ratan game and then I did do a good run because my father and I were. I was sat with Phil Lines and my father in Aztec Stadium since eighty six hundred of gold and then I was amble time. Well come back to that in a second. So they're not did sedan. Jim went back and got sent off. And then I was Japan Beckham School the penalty. So it's also did for those. I think it was interesting because to set Blatter when he was talking about go on technology and all the rest it would tell the story about how my father after the game went to to Sapin said thank you very much there was no recriminations Nova. I think because we were in the tribune and you can see replace. Oh you said what just happened there and then we turn around look to the TV replay and the TV replay. You said that was hamble but there was no recriminations then and funding if if I can tell the story so when I was I was horrible. Hawkeye okay it was owned by Getty they were selling. It got bought by Sony but they needed to expand the business effectively had a monopoly in tennis and cricket but they weren't football and the reason why football is that there was technology and football. There was no goal line technology then. VR VR was way down the road so my job was to see if I could help you get through the politics of what was going to happen with with going technology so I was in so Africa. Two Thousand Ten African World Cup and England were playing in Bloomfontein so I was with my friend Jerome and we went up to to the game in Bloemfontein. Our families have had a very small tributary remember. And I found myself in the back row and I was four seats away from Blatter just before half-time Franklin scored. The goal wasn't to go and now we looked at the TV and we said Oh. Yeah that was go. My phone started to explode so every German friend of mine there. Originally you know what they say ninety sixty six coming up on my phone so I went back into the tribune then at halftime and the attributes of these games they had the the raw ball tribute it but then Blatter was had his sanctum so set just went into the little innocent shut the door to income out and at the start of the tournament at the press conference the day before dawn start God he had said we will never have technology we like the game has to be the same game that everybody in the world place they will never the referees the ultimate arbiter they'll never be going to jail anyway so then we're at the Blue Fontaine minutes that we thrash by the Germans we went down we were in the entourage we are heading back to the airport and I was in the back of a car with the Jerome and he took a phone call from set in French and I sort of saw anyways said it's each done I said he had gone into dodgy I should really yeah it's done okay right so that spoke the guy's a whole concept is that your phone we're going to happen so we go on technology that's how it happened so fry are still Franklin poke a case of some nicer at some point but but that is the history of it and obviously then now we're via go on almost never controversial because it's binary you did it cross the line obviously they are going through teething problems. It's eating problems. Do you think that's I think I think there are two ways to do. They are either. You say we're going to test this we're going to test this in in the football league or we're GONNA test in the Belgian third division wherever or you jump in and Infantino decided rottweiler jumping so they jumped in and they did it in Brazil and they jumped in and done on it. You know that the you know we were pre league actually did look at it. They didn't jump straight in. But in Germany and Italy they jumped in. And I think what's emerging if you looked at the big picture is there will always be controversial decisions but at the moment the controversial decisions all the controversial decisions that it's very clubs lousy whereas the what they're getting right now is they are eliminating the ones that are just plain wrong. If something is wrong now I think they will find a way for example with offside that I will it be done in real time because I think the technology is there and secondly to make it not so we all know the armpit thing and a worsted which is which is a little bit weird so the train has left the station we are going to have vr. And he's going to stay in perpetuity. And I think that one of the issues has been there all that in Rhode before you know that the T. Mo is the guy effectively says the referee what you can do in football. There's always been this issue of does. The referee remain the ultimate arbiter and if the referee goes and looks at a screen it takes time and he's effectively marking his own homework. And he's he's that logical the egos. Did I get that right or did I get that wrong. And but they'll get there. I mean the challenge is is the comes from you. Know if he's not the technology's not particularly it's not always used to joke you know it's not rocket science but Hawkeye is rocket science and those are all guys who have degrees ballistics astronomy. Whatever so these very complicated but goal on technology is actually? Sr VR is much simpler technology but quite complicated from Komo's point of US however that he's talking to each other and I mean I was at a conference recently where they actually if you've actually heard what. The referee Korea has got going on in his ear during the game. I know we'll net we. We won't have read Lincoln. Football body is amazing that the dialogue is going on the whole time. I guess they'll they will. We'll just get there but they'll still be as they have been this season countless ones. You wasn't hamble was amble all on the red card because in the end it still subjective and raise the profile of Sake Parthenon Back to back Stacy's true and the whole sort of off site thing which is done in America. I think that they would upon on is this. Is that the idea now that you don't eat everything on site. You can do a huge amount of this you can replace. You can do graphics all these things in new connected world. He's I think true we could as you said at the beginning we could do about four different podcast. But we're GONNA call a halt there. Thank you very much advertisement. Lovely lovely morning overlooking the eighteenth at Wimbledon. Thank you for having me

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