Sunday, May 17, 2009

Big pubcos hammered by MPs (Bollocks)

News Article Comments : Big pubcos hammered by MPs

Interesting article here:

The article has more insightful quotes from pubco CEOs in denial.

Michael Turner, who is Chairman of Fuller, Smith & Turner and also Chairman of the industry poodle, the British Beer and Pubco Association, says: "Since 1966 there have been 19 formal inquiries into the tie, of which 14 have come since 1997. In addition there have been four conducted by the EU. All have concluded that the tie is fit for purpose."

What relevance does this have to the current situation? Within the trade every one of these reports has been regarded as a whitewash. None of the inquiries got balanced evidence from all sides of the industry. They got evidence from the likes of the now discredited BBPA didn't they? Can any licensees EVER recall being asked to give evidence on their experience of the tie to anyone? NO? Really? What a surprise... Licensees just watched from the sidelines as all these 'inquiries' unfurled in the trade press knowing the inevitable would happen: NOTHING; they would carry on being shafted by the tie.

Tim Martin, as usual is the only CEO to make any sense: "Punch and Enterprise were addicted to financial engineering and have not paid enough attention to their tenants," says Tim Martin, the founder of JD Wetherspoon. "The problem is not the tie but the behaviour of those two companies."

But then Martin can be objective about the tie because he sells beer for much less than anyone who is associated with a tie can afford to and he still makes a healthy profit out of it.

After a few days of silence needed to collect his thoughts Giles Thorley is now back in play for quotes: "Within a portfolio of 7,000 pubs, some will sadly fail," he says. "There will be some where we have been too quick or too slow to react to changing circumstances, but in some cases the individual running the pub is just not good enough or the economic circumstances are the driving force. In the worst recession in 60 years, there are other factors at play." This is a perfect example of a pubco CEO conveniently overlooking the alarming underlying 'churn' in his estate as reported by GMB. Documents leaked from his own company recently showed up to a third of the estate failing in the last three years alone - before things started to get really bad.

Thorley, normally seen as the more mild mannered of the pubco Big Brothers, now seems to have taken a leaf out of Ted's Book of Intemperate Tirades and now says the Business Enterprise Committee is a "kangaroo court". I wonder how many of them read the Telegraph? And he's calling the tie a "political football".

Well Mr Thorley, this is one football that's going to get kicked into touch and there's not a lot you, or any of your cronies at the Top of the Tied Table, will be able to do about it. The cats are out of the bag and the MP kangaroos are jumping on them.

The collective behaviour of your businesses has, over a long period, removed any moral or fiscal rights you ever had to preside over the evolution of Britain's pub industry. Your custodianship has been proved to be deeply flawed and is now comprehensively exposed as an unsustainable, pernicious and damaging influence on the whole trade.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves and standing down instead of behaving like indignant over privileged public school prefects who've been caught with their hands in the tuck shop till.

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