Friday, 3 April 2009

What sport tells us about life

Sometimes I despair at the lack of ambition of the so-called entrepreneurial classes of the golden triangle – Alderley, Knutsford and Wythenshawe. Once you could breeze into the Alderley Bar and Grill on a Friday night and have a deal done by closing time. Now everyone is claiming to be skint – the only people ready to have a punt are the gangsters and footballers.
Gangsters are alright as long as you keep the bubbly flowing, but even I get a bit uneasy about their “bad debt provisions”.
My old man Don “The Don” Cashman was in the QSG and taught me everything I needed to know about credit control when he bundled Jonny Fingers into the boot of his Roller in 1977.
Footballers on the other hand are very open to new ideas and “alternative investment classes”. Some of them stumped up for a salvage ship I hired to get hold of this sunken treasure in the North Sea. It wasn’t the best deal we’ve ever done, but you get Frank McAvennie (Celtic, West Ham and Scotland) on the subject in San Carlo and everyone’s in stitches.
You’ve got to be careful, though; they do take things literally. I was telling Rio Ferdinand (West Ham, Man U and England) how me and (the third) Mrs Cashman got hitched and had these two elephants deliver the rings. He then only goes and gets some owls for his do. Why?
I’m about to slot myself into this deal with David “Tommo” Thompson (England u21, Liverpool, Blackburn, Wigan, etc etc) on a very sweet little deal. He’s the shop steward for the
football lads and they’re all piling into this little fund to buy successful growth businesses. Obviously they need a bit of technical knowledge, and I reckon a two per cent finders fee, some rollover equity and a management contract for RC (Footballer Investment) Trust (IOM 2008) LLP is a very useful contribution of my time and effort.
We’ve got this investment opportunity for a coffee plantation in Costa Rica, an IT company in Manchester (guess who?) and a new private security firm to keep an eye on the footballers’ houses (and the WAGs) when they’re away on European duty. I think we’re on to a winner there. And we’ve all been promised tickets for Wembley.
I feel very proud of my contribution to the financial success of these sporting heroes. Indeed, I regard it as a public service to protect them from the army of hangers-on offering self-serving, badly timed advice.