Professional football match in progress


As a massive sports fan and reader of many biographies of sporting stars, I have been thinking recently about the incredible similarities between Sport and Business.

The Greatest
The best sports book I have read is Sir Alex Ferguson’s first Autobiography “Managing My Life” – it is a brilliant read. Love or loathe SAF, to me he is the greatest manager in the history of the game. He took the helm at Manchester United at the same time Terry Venables became manager of my team Tottenham Hotspur, but each achieved very different results. The mistakes made at my club at this time are a book in themselves!

However, there are many valuable lessons from Sir Alex and other sports that can be applied beneficially to business:

  • Never ever ever give up.
  • Invest in youth.
  • If the youth you invest in do not realise how lucky they are, move them on.
  • Remember everyone’s names and treat all in your organisation with respect.
  • Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
  • Be as intensive in training as you are in a match.
  • Be the first person onto the training ground and the last person to leave – this applies to the players also.
  • When you have a brilliant mercurial employee – do everything you can to make them feel wanted, even if they kung foo kick a supporter live on TV (blimey!).
  • Keep everything within the dressing room.
  • When you look round the dressing room and know every player is one you trust, you have a great team.
  • Change and evolution is good – Sir Alex at 70 was still learning new ideas.
  • Age is not a barrier to success. If someone is as hungry at 70 as a 20-year old, they are an asset. Ryan Giggs was still playing top-flight football at 40 years old.
  • Be loyal – Manchester United first 4 seasons under SAF, they finished 11th (yes!), 2nd, 13th (yes really!) and 6th – before finishing 2nd in 1991/1992 and then…
  • Don’t ever forget, your organisation has a reputation to uphold.

Your Team
In an office – our desk is our pitch, our colleagues, clients, lawyers and advisors are our team in the dressing room. Our computer and dress, our tools and kit. Like many, I live and work in the West End of London – it is a privilege to work in the best capital city in the world – it is the Premier League of Cities. Let’s not forget that.

Looking towards 2019
This is the last blog of 2018. 2019 like any year is uncertain. We have Brexit and a possible general election to look forward to. The West End property market should hold up as we will be dealing with lease breaks and expiries from 2014 and 2015.

I hope that despite political uncertainty, next year will be a fantastic one both for business (and sport). The UK economically is doing well, interest rates and inflation are low, as are personal and corporation tax rates. Events (dear boy events!) are out of our control – what is in my firm’s control is the quality of service and advice we provide to our clients, to never give up on their behalf and to remember that you the customer is always right (mostly 😊 ).

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery – today is a gift – that is why it is called the present.

We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and happy, healthy & fun 2019.