It smells like… Virgin Trains first class breakfasts on the 06.55 from Stockport station; it’s THE place to meet the men that matter in Manchester. I was in first class (obviously) and was on the way to the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in London.
I’d won the northern one already and, to be honest, it was a chance to see some of the hedge fund boys I know down there.
Stuffed if I can understand how they do it, but a 20 per cent yield is my kind of yield. I can’t be bothered with a lot of these awards dos; I just want to get on with scraping a living, like you do.
I only do enter them for the sake of the team.
It’s nothing to do with my ego.
But when you see some of these other muppets winning this and that and your team look to you to lead them, well, it’s letting the side down if you don’t.
And I am a leader of men.
It’s what I was put on this planet to do.
I’d followed some other top lads onto that stage as well, I can tell you.
Just look at who’s been up for this title in the past: Shaid Luqman of Lexi, Peter Bradley of Alta Gas, the iSoft boys; they’re all top geezers at the end of the day.
They get a bit of stick for the odd disqualification, investigation, or insolvency, but that’s the trouble with this country.
Always knocking down the successful.
Anyway, when Insider hinted that they wanted a column full of stories about my rich and successful friends I moved quicker than Danny Hall’s sprint to the stage to get his hands on the Insider’s Deal of the Year Award.
I enjoyed that do.
Went with the lads from Ford Campbell, I think.
The missus wasn’t best pleased as it clashed with the opening night of Goldplated on Channel 4.
She spent the night hiding behind the sofa (£14,000 from Arighi Bianchi, as it happens) and she’s had some stick from her mates that it’s about her and me and our chums.
Most of my mates are just down-to-earth ordinary blokes I went to school with.
Butchers, plasterers, van drivers, the highest-paid partner at Goldman Sachs, the chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, the founder of Capital Bank.
There I go again, name drops keep falling... So, here’s a story for you.
I last saw Tim Knowles on the train back from London.
He owns that Botany Bay building next to the M61.
I’ve known him for years and he’s a good lad.
I told Tim ages ago that all that flying around in helicopters wasn’t a good idea.
They can break down, just like a car.
But while Stratstone can at least squeeze you into a C-Class for a week or two, if the SLR needs a tune, how does a top entrepreneur get hold of a pool chopper? You can’t.
So where does that leave you? Taking the train.That’s what.