Friday, October 02, 2009

Let's get real about this situation the pubcos cannot deny but also cannot admit to: This trade needs better, brighter, more highly skilled pubco chiefs as much as it does better tenants.

Darby's clap trap would be funny if it were not so offensive. At least he's spouting out the standard view from pubco board level. He sounds remarkably like Somin Townsend... but then I suppose it takes a particular type of person to be so sure they are right and everyone else is wrong when the reality of their own inadequacies and shortcomings is all around them.

Let's take the article line by line and see what gives:

1) "The pub industry has to move away from allowing under-qualified people to take tenanted pubs"... is an open admission pubcos have failed the grade by allowing under-qualified people to take on pubs (while saying thay they vet them like crazy and only take on people with the best business plans, ideas and appropriate ingoing capital behind them.

2) a) “We as pubcos are prepared to discuss how we improve the way we operate.

“There’s a responsibility to raise the calibre of peope running pubs. It’s not a one-person tango." Whoever said it is a one person tango Darby? Lessees have been crying out for 'partnership' for as long as anyone can remember... it's not been there oon your side of the relationship.

b) “Pubcos have got to raise their game, but also force licensees to up their game. There needs to be a mutual desire to raise games. But people have to acknowledge there will be an acceleration of pub closures in the short term... This statement sounds good but is utter mumbo jumbo, it means nothing, it's about nice ideas and does not reflect what really needs to be done - which is hard work on both sides focused in a direction which will generate mutual benefit,

c) “In some places we’re not going to find the right qualified person to run a pub.” Doh. Really?

Roger Whiteside's obviously got himself in tooo deep by stepping into the pub trade - a murky, gloopy, sticky mess compared to anything else he ever put his foot in before.

1) “Some pubs are not able to provide a substantial living for licensees." Really Roger? How many is 'some'? You have the figures - why not be open about it? If you're not sure about numbers you can get them from GMB Union - I'm sure they'd be happy to oblige. In the region of 2/3rds of the estate in some form of churn not so long ago wasn't it?
2) “Some pubs are going to have to be left alone to die.” That, precisely, would appear to be the offical pubco policy for most tenanted pubs Roger - you know - tenant having difficultiesm BDM never returns calls, credit control witholds deliveries, tenant goes down the Swanee with a whimper. Pubco gets pub back, pubco sues ex tenant's shirt off their back. New tenant comes in on TWA etc... churn. The next one is a good one:

3) "The solution for tenanted pubs is supporting independent operators in finding a retail solution for their micro-market" - he added - A RETAIL SOLUTION FOR THEIR MICRO MARKET??? Thanks Roger for bringing pub speak into the 21st century. No wonder your company's in the doo doo.

Hamish Stoddart makes sense, and exhibits honesty in his statements. Still unusual to hear such criticism of pubcos anywhere in public - a sure sign the tide is turning against the Canute Academy of Pubco thinking.

Back to nonsense with Anthony Wallis: “The tie works - it’s a good way of getting into a high capital business at a low cost." We all know this statement is utter tosh - and means absolutely NOTHING and cannot be backed up substantially in any way. There is no such thing as a free lunch and pubco execs who rattle out this soundbite should have their bottoms smacked for being so silly. He then burps out the inconsistent and illogical suggestion that pub failures are all to do with successful tenants having assigned their profitable leases to idiots who then run the business down. “Pubcos have a limited ability to influence the assignment process. The recession has brought the over-payment issue to a head".

Meaningless GUFF which just outlines the depth of denial these guys are all up to their necks in.

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