Saturday, 24 July 2010

Halliwell Landau RIP

I was as shocked as anyone by what’s gone on at Halliwells, but there’s been a lot of rot talked.

I’m going to stick my neck out and speak up for the lads over there. First, so they did this hooky property deal where the partners all creamed a few mill each. SO WHAT? That’s capitalism kids. Get real. As I was saying to one of the ex-partners on his yacht in Puerto Banus the other week – who wouldn’t honestly have done the same thing given the choice? I know I have and if it wasn’t for the cowardice of the banks, then I would again.

Second, this lad Ian Austin was meant to have made a speech in Prague – great city for a lads trip by the way - saying the firm was going places. Jeez, if every bit of tub thumping rhetoric I’ve spewed out over the years was quoted back at me there’d me more rubbish talked about me on the internet than Steven Gerrard.

I don’t know this Austin myself – Halliwells will always be Clive Garston and Alec “Craigy” Craig to me – and the Earl of Lancashire Chris Eddlestone. This was a firm with a bit of breeding. And surely it’s no coincidence that the less you’ve seen of these lads in the office in Manchester, the more you hear of the problems piling up.

And they’ll always be Halliwell Landau as well – a much more sinister name that struck fear into the hearts of some loser you were suing. I’ll never forget the look on the face of some high street brief from Bramhall when the Halliwell Landau mob slammed their briefcases on the table and screamed – and screamed “we’re the Sweeney and we ain’t had our dinner.”

Next, the offices. Fair enough, they were a bit over the top and I’d have turned that ground floor reception into a branch of Subway, or Branagans, or Panacea, or something. And I’d have put them foxy receptionists on show at the front, not hidden upstairs. It’s the little touches, see.

The thing is, I know I speak for a lot of other successful stand-up lads who’ve done well out of the firm when I mention all of this. There are quality operators out there who have been served well over the years. Good lads like Mark Guterman, Mike Connett, Mike Ashley and last, but by no means least, Chris Ronnie.

This sporting life

I’m a competitive guy and I hate to lose. That much is obvious, right? And I reckon I’m onto a sure-fire winner with my latest import, the vuvuzela. You’ll have heard them if you were watching any of the World Cup, some people find them annoying but to me they sound just like my accountant droning “We can’t do this Roger, we can’t do that Roger”.

I think they stole my heart when I was wandering through town and some Doris in a football shirt whispered sweetly to me: “Would you like to blow on my vuvuzela?”. That touched me in a very special place, I have to say. They’re going to be all over the Premier League like Dani Behr next season and I’ve got the exclusive UK licence.

Me and a few of the boys piled over to SA for a few days to soak up the atmosphere and seal the deal, as it were. The football was rubbish. Saw some dross between Bongo Bongo Land and the former Soviet Republic of Bulimia, forget the details. England were shite as well.

I just wish someone had said it was winter, it was bloody freezing. Although my beige Hugo Boss looked the bollocks when we were on safari.

It’s been a busy month on the sports front. Pal of mine whistled up a few Centre Court tickets for Wimbledon (last time I went they lost 2-1 to Coventry, ha ha) which was a belting day. Belting if you like old biddies reading the Daily Mail and eating strawberries, anyway. There were a few young Dorises knocking about, although with these tennis sorts you’re never sure if a) they’re legal or b) they’ve got a mental dad from some East European war-zone. Best to steer clear.

I’ve also been up to the cricket at Old Trafford. I quite like that big red box they’ve got over the little changing rooms building, but we could have done a better job with it, or at least got them a sponsorship deal with China Shippping. I was hoping to have a catch-up with Beefy Botham but the mobile signal must be blocked out by the new box – and Freddie Flintoff was out of bounds too, think he was busy on a bash with his best pal Paul “Becky” Beck.

That’s not all. I’ve offered my services to the lads who’ve taken over Chester City. I’m a “football man” who thinks he’s got a lot to offer in the boardroom and beyond – there’s no point being modest about the fact I can play a bit. Basically, I just want to be brilliant around people.

For some reason, when I told them I was good pals with Mark Guterman and Alex Hamilton, lads who’ve been there and done that when it comes to footy clubs, they went all cold on me. I’ve never understood the Welsh.