Saturday, 17 December 2011

Downtown profile

These muppets at Downtown Manchester made me businessman of the year and asked me to do a profile. Here it is. 

Name: Roger Cashman                    

Company: RC Solutions

Position: Main man

Company Website Address: RC SOLUTIONS

Red Or Blue: Both, I love soccer ball, me. And Sale Sharks.

An Elected Mayor For Manchester: Isn’t that what Sir Howie Blingstein does?

Favourite Bar/Restaurant: The Stag in Great Warford, or The Mere

What's Your Tipple: Champagne, proper good gear and all

Which Business Person Do You Most Admire: Best dead one: The late Mark Langford (RIP). Best living: Lawrence Jones.

Favourite Band: The elastic one round my wad

Top Tune: Simply the Best

Favourite Book: My chapter in Tickover or Takeoff by Caroline Hampson

Favourite Movie: Goodfellas

Who Would Play You In A Film: Daniel Craig, obviously (his Dad is a good pal of mine)

Favourite TV Programme: Secret Millionaire, when I was on it 

Most Visited Website: Cheshire Companions

Facebook Or Twitter: Both a total waste of time @rogercashman

Snog, Marry, Avoid!: Tara Reid, Susanna Reid, Peter Reid

Interesting Fact About You: I have fought off more industrial tribunals and county court judgements than anyone in Alderley Edge

Why Downtown: Watch out for Downtown Alderley in 2012

Friday, 2 December 2011

Wake up to Money - wake up to Roger

As you know I’ve long been a massive supporter of the BBC and the move to Salford Quays. I don’t hold with this view that they can’t get guests on the radio programmes because all the important people are in London. That’s rubbish. Politicians might be based in the big smoke, but no-one wants to listen to them.

I actually told the top man at the BBC that it’s time to have more northern voices on the wireless. Especially northern BUSINESS voices. Why is it that self-made businessmen on TV are always cockneys – Sugar, Theo? Even Mike Baldwin was one. When I went on Secret Millionaire, all the other lads in the series were soft southerners. The reason my Burnley adventure came across so badly was because TV types are all art school ponces who didn’t get my wicked northern sense of humour. As if it was a serious suggestion to set up a whites-only taxi business called Union Jack Cabs! Joke, right! As I was texting my good pal Jezza Clarkson last night, that's the problem with this country, no sense of humour.

That’s all going to change when I start my new slot on the radio. I'm going to be taking over from that Mickey Clarke geezer on Wake Up To Money on the BBC Radio Five Live. And believe you me, we won’t be wasting time warbling on about gilts, bonds and pork bellies. Oh no. The Cashman view of life will be REAL BUSINESS. You know, the true entrepreneurial beating heart of the British economy – accident claims brokers, property development, call centres, IT assurance and coupons.

 So, next time you go to Salford Quays you can see a massive picture of me next to Gary Lineker and that fit one off the BBC News (Susanna Reid, she’s called, and yes, you would).

 As you know, I’m no stranger to a media profile – people are forever coming up to me in San Carlo and saying “are you THE Roger Cashman? We thought you were a spoof.” Well, pal, I say, clearly I'm not and the joke’s on you now. But, to be fair, I’m getting used to it. The trouble is, some of my so-called celeb pals are getting hacked off with my superstar A list status. I was out with my good mate Austin Healey the other week – we’ve got some investments together in China – and even though he’s been on the telly doing that dancing and he’s played a bit of rugby in his day, I swear more people were stopping to talk to me. These are the circles I move in nowadays. A star can only rise once, then it fades, Austin. And this is my time.

 It all takes me back to the day I’d been out with Freddie Flintoff, Michael “Vorni” Vaughan and my great mate Paul “Becky” Beck. We took one of Becky’s choppers down to these celeb awards in London. All the paparazzi were there, camped outside clicking like mad. Next day, we were all over the papers. I’ve still got the cutting from one of them. The caption read: “pictured left to right, cricketers Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan with Peter Jones from The Apprentice.”

In your dreams Jonesy, in your dreams.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Simmo – the JR Ewing of the North West

You’ll never guess who popped onto my BlackBerry the other day – Andrew “Simmo” Simpson. Talk about a blast from the past. He’s a proper good lad, who is always welcome on any night out with me and my merry band.

He’s always guaranteed to liven up a ski trip or a quiet night in the Metropolitan.

And now? Well, strap yourselves in, for he’s offering us a stake in opening up oil wells – it’s got to be a winner. For those of you who don’t know him, Simmo was running Rothschilds in Manchester for a bit. Then he got headhunted to go and flog a few Portakabins and cement mixers for John Brown over at Speedy Hire.

He did such a boss job doing that before you could say Everything Must Go, he was put in charge of the Trafford Centre and a few of Johnny boy Whittaker’s odds and ends. I don’t know if it was Simmo’s idea, but I like that big chandelier they have over the food area – it looks brilliant. You can’t underdo bling in a shopping centre.

As well as being a business guru, he’s also a political masterplanner. Simmo single handedly fought the No campaign against banning cars from Manchester back in 2008. To be fair, there was no chance it was ever going to win a vote of the general public, but Simmo’s debating skills properly rattled the socialists at the council.

I heard he then got tapped up by the Tories to be one of David Cameron’s blue-eyed boys at the last election.

As well as getting Tory tottie like Susie Williams, Esther McVey and Louise Bagshawe (she writes smutty books that Dorises like), “Dave” also wanted strapping lads like the one who thinks he’s Laurence of Arabia, Rory Stewart, now the laird of Penrith. Wisely, in my view, Simmo gave that a swerve.

He flogged Liverpool airport for JW, then like that, whoof, he was gone.

We all thought he’d joined MI5, or something.

Then, out of the blue, a few of the lads, me included, started getting emails. He’s got this nailed on investment opportunity that is pure genius. He’s opened up all these oil wells in Texas that Digger Barnes, JR Ewing and Red Adair gave up on when life was easier. Now that oil is soaring in price, Simmo has been drilling for dear life and wants us to pile in with him.

Have a look for yourselves here at the website. The Falcon has well and truly landed.

Unbelievably, some of the lads are saying they think it’s a bit racy. I’ve even heard the tired old excuse of the wimpy investor – sounds good, but it’s not really for me. Come on, grow a backbone!

It’s one of those deals that just gets my pulse racing. It’s risky, edgy, and it’s in oil and gas. I will be writing a cheque for a cheeky half mill. We simply cannot fail with good old-fashioned non-renewable energy.

Monday, 10 October 2011

MY MATE GARRY COOK: A MAN OF VISION

Once again, the knives have been out and once again the right-on, politically correct bleeding heart liberal do-gooder brigade have brought about the downfall of a good man. A man of vision.

I have to say that over the years he was at Manchester City I got to know Garry Cook pretty well. He was a man I not only grew to admire, but also to like, and I don’t say that about many people. I’ve been on my fair share of Man U corporate away trips over the years and am now looking forward to going on a few City trips now that success has come to our other local soccer club, Manc City, as they call them. That he should be booted out because a bit of banter was taken in the wrong way is a crying shame.

It’s the hypocrisy I can’t stand – who among us can honestly sit there with a straight face and say they’ve never mistakenly sent a private email to the wrong punter? People should take it in good faith – you weren’t meant to see it, so just forget about it. Admittedly, the courts see it differently sometimes – I’m still paying off at least three ex-RC Solutions “people” after tribunals returned verdicts against yours truly – but as a business owner, it was never going to cost me my job, it just upped the premiums on the insurance.

Frankly, I bought into Garry’s vision for the Blue Mancs Soccer Army (as they are known on the streets), or The Project as “Cookie” called it. We were in line to do a load of the solutions stuff – he was big into using local companies and all that.

I remember once “GC” and me were having a round of golf with Dr Thaksin, the old City owner and another great guy – and I had this idea. “Why don’t you build a zone around the stadium for the fans? Call it a fanzone,” I said.

“I like it,” said “Gazza”. The rest, as they say, is now the stuff of legends. Another night, me and the lads were in Rosso and I got talking to this young Arab lad. He wanted to know what we thought of City, and “GarCo” and all the rest of it. It turned out this lad was the Great Sheikh himself, he tipped me the wink on all kinds of plans they’ve got for Manchester. Out of respect I can’t mention it, though to be fair, I got that bladdered I can only remember about half anyway. All I know is it’s a crime “The Cookmeister” won’t be there to see his vision through.

I’m not blaming the lass who got the email. It’s the press, once again, that made a mountain out of a molehill and caused all this. After the MP expenses non-story and the Murdoch tosh, I’m tiring of it. If Thaksin ever gets back in control of Thailand, consider me gone.

Reading the riot act

So there I was, tucked in nicely at the bar in a discreet gentleman’s club – I’m not telling you where if you’re not ITK – watching the footage of the riots taking place in Manchester and some place called Salford when the old light bulb went off – not the red one in the window, either.
In case you don’t know, the BBC is moving shedloads of their muppets up to Salford Quays next year, after Johnny Whittaker (great lad, by the way) pulled off the deal of a lifetime and royally narked off Sir Howie Bernstein in the process. All good fun. Being a Murdoch loyalist, I don’t hold much truck with the BBC myself – it’s full of Communists, puddle jumpers and, worst of all, liberals – but there’s an opportunity here for a connected mover and shaker like myself.

It strikes me that the skinny latte-drinking BBC types would have been watching the footage of little kids robbing plasma tellies and trainers bold as brass and, frankly, started to rust their armour about exactly what they’ve signed up for here.

But they can’t all back out and find a job elsewhere, the pensions are too cushy for one thing. What they need is reassurance of safety; that they can get from work to home without being knifed by some little ninja. And I can help.

Here’s the plan: an underground shuttle from the heart of MediaCity (I’ve been checking up on this, that’s ACTUALLY what it’s called) right into the heart of Hale, possibly with a stop in Chorlton, as there are bound to be some hippies along with the overstuffed management class. Absolute winner.

Yes it’s true, RC Resi Devs plc has never before attempted an “infrastructure project” but how hard can it be, really? We’d never done a golf course until we got chatting to the oil boys from Kazakhstan at MIPIM one year, and that went like a dream.

I know that Metrolink’s taking years to build but to me that’s just typical public sector fannying about. I plan to take my inspiration from the Burma railroad, built in no time at all by virtue of good honest toil and firm but fair management.

That’s it folks, it’s time to bring back the chain gangs. We could even get them orange jumpsuits and those suits with the arrows on so everyone can see that we’ve given them jobs. No hoods either, kids. Best of all, I’ll be putting out a few feelers as to what kind of grants are available to hire the sort of no-good scrote who’s landed himself with a few thousand hours of community service for being daft enough to rob alcopops in the full glare of CCTV.

Scrote labour, it’s the future. Really, society is very lucky to have men of vision like me ready to give these kids a chance and make the world a safer place.

Monday, 15 August 2011

How NOT to buy a football club

So, there I was in Wings in Manchester. Top gaff, great food, the owner Wing, is a massive pal of mine. If you look at the mural on the wall, my company logo is on the back of a rickshaw being pulled along by some kids.

He’s got these plates in frames on the wall that all the big hitters sign for him. Mine, signed by me, is next to one from the American soccer lad Brad Freidel and the fat one out of Take That. Quality.

Anyway, these lads pile in, reckoning they want to buy a football club, and they weren’t particularly choosy either. Obviously they know I’m the kind of go-getting wheeler dealer that can make these kind of deals happen – it was me, as you know, that put Michael Knighton into United. I suggested to Ali Ahsan Syed that he should sniff around Blackburn before the chicken mob beat him to it. And whatever these football rabble like to pretend these days – Leeds fans have me to thank for introducing Peter Ridsdale to soccer.

So I make a few suggestions which they turn their noses up at Stockport (basket case), Rochdale (doing a bit too well) and Oldham (too cold).

I also said they might want to have a chat to another good pal of mine, Bryan Robson, the former England captain, a global ambassador for the Manchester United Corporation and the main guy in GVA Robson Lloyd, a property outfit.

To be fair, I forgot all about it until this fuss kicked off about a programme on Channel 4. That’s not a channel I watch much, in fact, I thought it had closed down when Big Brother finished. But there you go.

I was disgusted. There these chancers were with hidden cameras in the Man U bar in Bangkok chatting up Robbo and pretending to be football investors. For the life of me I can’t see what he’s meant to have done wrong, apart from suggesting Sheffield United. He had this Thai lad Mr Joe, who they were making out on telly wasn’t all that. Well, to me he seemed a man very much after my own heart: big hitter, loaded, loves the soccer, likes his nosh, and is a big pal of Sir Alex Ferguson. What’s not to like?

I’m thinking I must look him up when I’m next in Bangkok, but here lies the problem. Every time some sharp talking lad from Britain pitches up, they’re going to think we’re some undercover jockey from Channel 4 or The Guardian. I don’t think we can understate the destructive effect the media is having on the reputation of British entrepreneurs around the world. Frankly, it’s time they were shut down for good.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

NEVER TRUST A TECHIE

Cards on the table. Sir Lord Alan of Sugar isn’t a close personal friend. We’ve rubbed shoulders once or twice, sure, at various charity fundraisers (which you know I love) and big hitting business events. We’ve both advised the government on business. We may even have exchanged words in the directors box at City, United or somewhere – fact is, I can’t remember. But what I do know is this – Baron Sweetner was 100 per cent bang on the money when he told the nation that engineers are no good at business.

He’s had a bit of stick has Alan. First you’ve got that Luke Johnson, the Pizza Express bloke, even Loz Jones has piled in. And of course there are a few exceptions to this rule. Sir James “Jimmy” Dyson for one, who makes ace Hoovers, so our housekeeper reckons anyway. But does Jimbo really sit down in his shed messing about with bits of metal and pipe cleaners like some crackpot science geek? I doubt it.

Business is all about selling a dream. When you think of the titans of business- Branson, Buffett, Trump, Cashman – the similarities are obvious. We’re all good-looking, charismatic men that people will follow. Natural leaders and born sellers.

Frankly, there’s too much of that clever-clever “oooh I’ve been to university” bollocks about. Well not at RC Solutions. The last certificate I got was for swimming and I’ve not done too badly for myself. For me, the only qualification that counts is a degree from the University of Life and frankly, we’re a bit suspicious of the techies.

That little dot com bloke, Manoj Ranaweera (who’s alright, to be fair) – said to me: “Roger, surely you’re a solutions business, how come you’re so successful but you don’t understand technology?” You don’t need to know the first thing about all the technical gubbins, pal. If you can convince bankers that you’ve got the stones to make something work, they’re picturing their bonus before you’re even out of the door, cheque in hand.

Sales is where it’s at. You can have the greatest idea ever and more techy know-how than you can shake a stick at but if you can’t sell you’re stuffed. Our sales lads aren’t even allowed a chair at their desk until they hit a weekly target. It’s a competitive environment that weeds out the weak and rewards the strong – someone once said it was like Darwin in action, but I don’t hire Lancastrians either.

That’s when you hire some specky geeks and middle-aged virgins to actually do the work. These people don’t have the vision and ambition to be great businessmen – it’s men like me that make them what they are. It’s even better now, because Russian maths graduates are even cheaper. I love globalisation.

Yes, the bar at Panacea is littered with tech investors and their hard-luck stories, but some of us are very comfy in the booths – the winner’s enclosure of life.