Monday, February 14, 2011

RE: Expert warns over lease surrender spike

Unfortunately, Phil Dixon, it's that time of year when lessees can't pay for rent or beer either. One supposes that, with the unprecedented number of pubs going down the Swanee, there may be merit in lessees suggesting they surrender the lease and offer to continue running their pub under a management agreement and get paid for the first time since they signed their worthless leases that cost them their savings and livelihood.

I know of eight pubs, off the top of my head, within about three miles of me, which are being traded by a management company. The staff at these pubs have been told that they are part of a group that takes over failed pubs and turns them around. There is an implication of longevity and success about this presentation of the situation. Hehe... I like that one. Means X pubco is hemorrhaging cash keeping up the impression that their pubs are, actually, making money for them. It is the sort of spending that's accounted for by the beancounters at pubco towers as 'lessee support' and cited to people like politicians and journalists as being evidence of the pubcos' commitment to their 'partners', nay even the heartfelt charitable support of them.

That scenario of course is a shameless attempt before the next Select Committee hearings (the coming to be biennial pubco hunting season is almost upon us), to create the general impression to pundits and politicians there is a turning of an inexorable tide of pub failure across all tied estates. This to mask the reality that pubs are now closing FASTER than ever and it's only going to get a LOT worse as the recession bites ever deeper. Pubcos reason that if they can pull the wool over the Committee this time there's still enough hay to be made before the sun finally sets on the Tie's horizon - and the more time to Get The Pre Pack outtahere the better.

The prevailing view at pubco towers remains that 'MPs are morons' and these spivs and scammers are going to get away with their smoke and mirrors but reality is otherwise and, like King Canute, these pubcos are going to get their trousers wet very soon.

edited by: J Mark Dodds at: 14/02/2011 20:54:41

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