Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This post is a compilation of private messages I've been sent vai the Morning Advertiser website and posted comments from there and the Publican over the last few weeks... I'm going to put them togetther and send them as evidence for the BESC inquiry.

Tony Preston 02/12/2008 00:32:44

1 Star Rating

TV show to examine beer tie and rent

Sometimes, you wish these 'trade' bodies that 'represent' us would just go away and let us represent ourselves - they do much more harm than good in a lot of cases.

We had a saying in the Navy - 'Bull***t baffles brains' - well, these bodies speaking on our behalf and the upcoming BEC hearing will probably bear witness to that!

edited by: Tony Preston at: 02/12/2008 00:34:09

RE: TV show to examine beer tie and rent


edited by: Admin at: 01/12/2008 11:53:25

This post replies to this thread

Graham Barr 01/12/2008 15:40:48

1 Star Rating

TV show to examine beer tie and rent

The stories concerning the 3 pubs in this programme seem so very typical of stories we are all hearing across the country. In my local area I know of 5 pubs recently closed-up, dozens with tenants wanting to leave and I know of 3 tenants who last week threw the keys back and walked away. EVERY licensee I speak to has tales of woe. The drayman, fruit machine collectors, snack food van driver, cellar gas supplier… EVERYONE is just so fed up with the dire position we find ourselves. And the worrying thing is that good, honest and hardworking licensees are giving up just BEFORE Christmas!

For Christ’s sake, when are the pubcos going to WAKE UP and start HELPING?

We need SUBSTANTIAL rent reductions from the landlords.

We need a large proportion of the beer discount PASSED ON to the licensees

We need the pubcos to join together and FIGHT our incompetent government.

Without all of these measures, this industry is going to catastrophically implode in the new year.

At the moment the silence from the pubcos is deafening.

Mark Dodds 01/12/2008 16:06:06

5 Star Rating

TV show to examine beer tie and rent

My business is vibrant - just had the quietest weekend in over ten years. Took less in the whole than we usually do on a Friday. Now THAT is scary.

edited by: Mark Dodds at: 01/12/2008 16:06:14

TV show to examine beer tie and rent

Just what we need, CAMRA and BBPA fighting our corner now i know there's no hope for us

This post replies to this thread

brian clarke 01/12/2008 16:48:43

1 Star Rating

TV show to examine beer tie and rent

Unfortunatly the answer is with todays stock market,they have no room to manouver and whilst share prices keep falling they are sinking fast,if mr mandelson does have to bail them out let us hope a new management team is put in place.

Tony Preston 02/12/2008 00:28:56

1 Star Rating

TV show to examine beer tie and rent

Join the club - we just banked £2,800 and I had to give another £800 of my own money to the pub - that's over £2,000 of my money since September.

Under 'normal' conditions, we bank on average £4,000 to £5,500 depending on time of year, sometimes even a little more.

We are meeting the BDM in a few days, apparantley, she is going to tell us what we are doing wrong!

Answer is simple, we are paying too much rent and are tied - that's what we are doing wrong!

edited by: Tony Preston at: 02/12/2008 00:31:06


sent: 28/11/2008 12:30:30 From Keith Marsden Private Message

Mark, we run a Punch lease in Birmingham. We previously ran another Punch lease as well, plus an Admiral lease. We walked away from these 2 earlier this year. The reason for my email is one of our regulars is a labour party strategy guy. Last week Punch changed our terms from Credit to cash up front and demanded over £30,000 immediately. We were forced to borrow some of this from our regulars. As part of this process, I had to explain the whole pubco problem. Now Tony, my labour party regular, has offered to brief/lean on individual Labour MPs and Peter Mandelson's office. He is dead keen to help and now he understands what's been going on in the industry, he is very angry about Pubco's. Not wanting any loose cannons, perhaps the best thing is for him to be able to phone or meet someone from fair pint to ensure he sings from the same hymn sheet. What do you think? Regards Keith Marsden Prince of Wales, Moseley, Birmingham. 0781 4000 136


Message From Paul Downes
sent: 28/11/2008 10:52:35

Hi Mark Strange dont you think ? just over a week from now the pubco's are up in front of the select comittee and here we are now with both the BII and CAMRA who we all thought were anti pubco and pro individual licensee's, showing support for the enemy!! Someone in the BBPA or pubco's has been very very busy and canny or devious, I mean how good is that going to look for the likes of tuppen and thorley when they all link arms in support of one another in parliament. Me thinks even if the current pubco's and their model collapses either through the credit crunch or the outcome of the select comittee, they have already set up several off shoots to continue in the trade and maybe the people at the top of BII and CAMRA have been informed that they will continue to be a part of their schemes thus guaranteeing future revenues at a time of uncertainties??. Something is afoot and it wont be in our favour thats for sure. All we ever wanted is to focus on our business with positive outlooks yet we are being turned into paranoid schemers by the devious manipulators in the square mile. Paul ( the jolly lanlord 'once upon a time' )

From Paul Downes

Interesting post here Mark it was on the interactive investors site ............................................................ My understanding is this. Punch ( as Enterprise probably is too ) is divided into a number of securitisation structures and the properties are divided up into these structures to provide security for the bondholders. Punch itself is only entitled to income from these properties over and above the cost of debt servicing so the bondholders always get first bite at the income. Punch shareholders as such don't have much say in any outcome involving insolvency. If Punch defaults on its debt servicing then it will lose control of the properties to which the default relates. I'm not sure that a lot of small investors really understand this to be the position. When I talk about sale to tenants, they are likely to pay more than anyone else for their freehold as once they are freed from the current tie arrangement that extra cash funds the mortgage. Banks are still happy to support this process for tenants. The assets of Punch are overvalued anyway as Punch factor in the benefit of intangibles such as the beer tie and machine tie that would not necessarily be a benefit to another purchaser; say one that is buying for an alternative use, or a pubco that doesn't want to tie its tenants. I think its reasonable to expect that Punch and Enterprise haven't been bought or refinanced because everyone knows that the assets are way overvalued and that the companies are already technically insolvent, which they probably are.

Message from Paul Downes
No I did not write that about Tuppen it was on an investors chatroom, here is the link, there is some interesting reading on pubco,s business models.......................................
.................................... We have a pub in the middle of trafford park industrial estate not far from MUFC. our lease is an old voyager through the unique pub co unfortunately now owned by EI. We are struggling like most but fortunately MUFC pull us through. Some months ago we challenged EI through the MA chatroom to help us out with a problem because our BDM was a W***er, and bloody hell within 45 mins of my post our BDM was in the pub. the divisional director had orders from tuppens office to get it sorted so needles to say our BDM turned up at our pub with his tail between his legs very apolegetic about our problems but at the same time informing us we had done ourselves no favours by going public on MA, I reminded him that the MA was there to help licensees and that the chatroom was supposed to be private for our use and that the company should spend more time listening to it's estate rather than spying on them. He is no longer our BDM thankfully :o). We have since handed back the keys for the Trafford park hotel as this was on a TAW and the negotiations for the EI lease were going nowhere, it has been closed since May and has been in five foot of stagnant water since july as the waste/rain water has to be pumped out via a float switch and pubcos dont do utility bills so for the sake of a hundred quid or so for electric they now have around £40-80,000 of damage and according to safe estates this is happening to EI's estate all around the country, they have one team going around pumping out cellars all over the north west and that was in sept ! imagine what it is like now and in jan/feb??. We are currently in our rent review period for this pub so we are keeping a low profile and the takings down, hopefully in the current climate and if the pubcos survive the BEC enquiry and the credit crunch we will have a sensible outcome for our rent review. However I understand that EI have used the Unique pub co ( which our pub is leased rom ) to secure £1 billion of debt with HSBC? they have very high leverage and the company is already insolvent so we are expecting the fun and games to start soon. cant wait to see how they split the company up and who gets what. Just wish we had an opportunity to buy ours but we know it wont happen.

Message From Nigel Maude

sent: 27/11/2008 21:21:49

Just had to pass this on, but we have a great pub with Marston's and won several awards. We thought we would take a closed bankrupt pub around a mile away to compliment the existing business, which would allow me to reduce the outside catering. The RM turned up with all the plans, planning permission and lease works. All was agreed and put in writing to confirm as the development was key to the business. We priceeded and spent £15K on the pub and kitchen and once it was completed we had a further meeting. Quite surprised I supose to be told that the work would be done by enterprise in early 2010. So they are not ..Not doing the work, just doing it what we will ahve been in 2 years and it will have no impact. I gave notice to quit at the end of December a week ago and have never heard from the RM to date. Tonight I ahve written to Simon Townsend and listed just the facts in that it seems clear tha tthey have missold the business with false promises. We will just about cover what we have done at the business, but even in this environment, I would prefer to struggle than deal with a bunch of liars. I am only 43 but have held a license for 25 years and have a reasonable experience in the trade, but I just feel so sorry for all the new comers that are completely ripped off and loose everything. Regards - Nigel Maud


Message from Dawn Smith Wholesaler
sent: 14/10/2008 07:30:29

I cannot leave the company I work for ,open to abuse, by these pubco's. They would shut us down overnight! I love the company where I work. My MD does not feel as strongly as I do regarding these matters. He has sympathy a great deal, but it is his livelihood, as well as mine... I already feel vulnerable as I think I have said too much and it is certainly not in my nature to stay quiet! I have introduced Fairpint to some of the licensees, the LVA and so on, that come into my office and after second questioning I do not think one has contacted them! I am surprised and dissapointed as they feel as strongly as us but do not do anything. They are in a position where they can make a difference and it would not effect them at all. But still they do not do anything. Not sure if this sounds like double standards on my part, but just feel they are not helpin themselves... I am personally at a point where I am frustrated that I cannot do anything to help you Mark, which is why I do not post a great deal anymore on the MA. Behind the scenes everyday I am interested in what is going on and looking for info on Enterpunch to see if I can help. I haven't lost the will - just lost the how! I do believe that you, Fairpint, Wakefield, Inez to name but a few WILL get changes made and I do hope that these changes will help you. I also think that as agravating as he can be Ken Nason does make some valid points which could be listened to.... The tie will be no longer, but I think it is at least a year or so away, I have no basis for this just a womans intuition and YOU will have helped towards this. I think that G Allman has lost the plot and do not believe a word he says, its all propoganda... I have been told off by Ewan for using the word Mafia - what is that all about THEY ARE! Oh I am rambling, I will go away. Have a good day Mark and sorry - I just hope you understand where I am coming from...

Message from Dawn Smith Wholesaler
sent: 19/09/2008 08:15:11

50 I am afraid it hit me last year! Like a ton of bricks - It has taken me around a year to forget. My other half was 60 yesterday, so I suppose I have nthing to worry about! Mark as you may have gathered I am following all that is going on in the trade from two angles. The wholesaler and personally and sometimes these clash... You are right God knows what would happen as a wholesaler if the tie was lifted. Fortunately we have a reasonably strong presence in the market place but who knows... Personally my view is that the tie should be lifted. The LVA is hard work and really just seems to be a glorified piss up and a great way to moan like hell to all the others for six hours. The die hards are happy with there lot waiting for retirement and the newbies are going bust. The LVA is dying really as originally I understand they were set up to help struggling landlords, well as they all are then it is pointless eh! Yes from a wholesalers point of view I see people everyday going bust, closing the doors, eviction notices and have guided as many as I can to you guys at Fairpint but can do know more. I am an employee and do not want to lose my job. I can only help in the background. Be assured a day really does not pass when I action something towards your cause. Either by emailing David Cameron (perhaps pointless I know) speaking to licensees who come into my office and following through some news stories to try and find out more. I have come to a brick wall on Jo Champion and her daughters leaving the pub in Gloucester - If I had the time I would do more. Not sure whether I mentioned before but as a wholesaler, you may or may not be aware we are under threat from Enterprise Inns that we must not at any time walk into, mail shot or let any of there TIED tenants know what we charge! A wholesaler that is no longer in business was fined through court for £15,000 about 5 years ago for supplying one of ther e pubs with some kegs... We have also had our supplys stopped from one brewer/pubco for dropping in a mail shot to one of there pubs! Mafia springs to mind but I have been told off by Ewan for using that word too.... We seem to be so naughty! All the best and hope the court case goes well. Will it set a precendent when you win? regards D

Message from Dawn Smith wholesaler
sent: 03/09/2008 08:44:57

The next LVA meeting is 23rd September No meeting in August! I will keep you updated as best I can but I am afraid there are few 'die hards' on this committee and its like getting blood out of a stone!... I hope all is going well with you guys. To let you know I cannot sign onto MA as myself as I work for an independent wholesaler, we have already had our supplies stopped from a brewer/pubco for 'sending a mailshot' into one of there pubs - would you believe! So I really have to tread carefully. My own crusade is from a personal point of view and have been warned on the forum for using words such as Mafia! from Ewan... This all makes my blood boil ugh! kind regards Dawn

Message from Dawn Banbury wholesaler
sent: 02/08/2008 07:41:23

Hello Mark Just to update you on my personal crusade with our local LVA (Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead). I passed them a Fairpint pack, which has been discussed at the last two meetings and they have used the letter as a basis to send on to their local MPs. They have also written to the LVA - H Office, to suggest that they offer support to Fairpint. Sl/W & M head branch are proposing to make a donation to Fairpint at the the next meeting which is September 23rd. I have no idea how much this will be. Mark I am just informing you, purely to let you know I/we are trying to help, but God it takes so much time with these guys! Proposing, seconding and so on. If and when the donation and letter gets to you it will be forwarded from the treasurer, chairman Mark I have sent this info in confidence, I hope you don't mind regards Dawn Banbury (D Smith)

Message from Dawn Banbury wholesaler
sent: 16/07/2008 17:57:53

Please can you read 'giving up lease' and ring the forum user ..... last posts. It will all become clear. I know this is out of the ordinary, but just feel at least you could put him/her in touch with someone. A cry for help... regards D

Message from Lisa Smith - The English Rose - a real ale pub with Enterprise in Luton
sent: 13/07/2008 14:42:41

Hi Mark I have joined Fair Pint from the website. I think you have an excellent chance of some success with this campaign and as you rightly point out we have been negotiating our new lease terms so do not want to stick my neck out to far. I did send on thought through the website. As we are a Real Ale pub the one thing that we feel has been forgotten is the small brewer. We have information on how much they receive for their beer from the pubcos and we are trying to alert as many breweries as possible how much we are charged. Some are finding this quite hard to swallow. If you would like anymore information on this let me know. Thanks for everything. Lisa

Message Lisa Smith

sent: 14/07/2008 11:36:07

Mark , Thanks for getting back so quickly. We are based in Luton ( I will collate what info I have verbally and see if I can get this written down by the brewers we know. Once done I will send a message via the Fair Pint. Thanks Lisa

Message Phil Taylor Jones
sent: 10/07/2008 09:05:41

Hi Mark Sorry for delay in replying, didn't know about the msg icon!! Anyway, Sam isn't my real name, it's my nephew I just used it to comment on Punch without them finding out it was me and penalising me in some pathetic way. Although I am out of the pub, I do technically still owe them around £400 and if I make too much fuss at the moment, they might chase me but come September, I would be willing to speak up. My proper name is Phil Taylor-Jones, with my wife, we were Punch lessees of The Cannon in Wellingborough Northants for 5 1/2 years until trade dipped to £2k a week and Punch still wanted nearly £800 rent. We took legal advice, got through Xmas and then left being bankrupt in all but name! Now working 5 days a week, 9-5 and much happier. No regrets as they say. My normal email is, my mobile is 07880552358. If I can help anyone else, especially when dealing with Punch, please let me know. Cheers Phil.

Message From John (AKA) Paul Downes

sent: 18/07/2008 09:20:45

If most publicans are like we are then they will go about their daily tasks and live in their own bubble, rarely venturing out amongst others in the trade. This has struck me just how lonely the publicans life can be, rather like being a farmer in some respects. Is their anyway fairpint can use it's status and influence to create a support group or membership of some sort for licensee's especially pubco ones, this in my opinion would help to create a sense of belonging and a camaraderie, the idea, that being amongst your own would encourage more people to join and help each other with the fairpint campaign rather than just reading the forums and nodding in agreements then not getting involved for fear of reprisals from their respective pubco's. I have already been on the receiving end of my pubco for posting on the forums hence my somewhat muted stance. Being a part of something would also encourage more involvement especially if regional meetings were set up and maybe a weekly or monthly email news update. including news stories from publicans. this would also encourage others to tell their stories thus giving fairpint a true picture of our plight. I must say that our pubco representative has recently lost his arrogant attitude with us since my thread on the business support forum and now reminds me at every opportunity that "we are here to offer you our full support in anyway we can oh and do not worry about your rent review we will be very fair it will be a fair and equitable rent it is not in our interest to make your rent unfair" After my post a message came from the top via a few senior operatives and within 45 mins of my post our senior regional manager was in our pub. hmm now what does that tell you. I cannot repeat this on the forums as I know it would rebound on us, we did not mention our pub area or pubco yet they knew who we were ?. An environment for our own would be a big move in the right direction for fairpint. An opportunity for members to share trade information on rents, supplies, ties, rogue BDM's etc. Just an idea Mark

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