Shifting CEO standards? Coco the Clown vs Easy Rider

Posted by rossipersempre on October 31, 2012, 09:47:48 AM

Aiming to distract from a long and boring business trip, there I was, against my better judgment, watching the final episode of Being:Liverpool.  And there it was, a realisation. About our so-called MD/CEO/whatever.

Now I've had my say about the Teflon-coated Ayre before, several times, from his time as Tom Hick's little bitch, to his past in Asia, long before he was seen off from his calamitous tenure at the mighty Huddersfield Town. No doubt Al(555) will be in this thread to clarify for anyone unaware.

As a middle-management merchandiser, and supply chain man, I'd have no problem with him, but in his current elevated role, so acutely described in a recent thread entitled "The Peter Principle", he is a liability.

I'm aware of how he claims to have magnanimously offered his resignation when FSG took over, but curiously re-applied for his old job simultaneously.

I'm aware of his self-aggrandizing when it comes to claiming credit for two massive sponsorship deals, when it was his interim predecessor and snake-faced c*nt Purslow, who wrapped up SC (who approached us) and his employers FSG who put together the Warrior deal.

I'm aware of how he spinelessly left a club legend like Kenny hung out to dry over Suarez-gate and then had the gall to administer a public bollocking to both men when ordered to by Henry & Werner.

A man who as MD, didn't even think to try and curb some of the excess instigated by Comolli, as always taking the path of least resistance.

A man who half-pissed, wasn't reticent about telling Liverpool fans in a Dublin pub that he "despised" Rafa when our former manager was in charge, cutting a swathe through Europe's finest. A man put in charge of drawing up a shortlist of candidates to replace Dalglish (a man he admitted he didn't feel able to question) who continued to serve a personal agenda by black-balling Benitez from a job that even his arch-nemesis Purslow admitted he was "a very strong candidate" for.

And that's even before we get to Being:Liverpool. Whatever your thoughts and opinions were on this TV series, there cannot be anyone who feels that Ayre comes out reputation unscathed. Leaving aside the MIDLIFE CRISIS he's clearly in the full throes of (look at me and my Harley), and obvious playing up for cameras, what struck me most was the deadline day debacle. In particular what it reinforced in terms of his attitude.

I watched him watching Sky Sports surrounded by his secretary and a couple of other random functionaries. Rodgers was on the sofa at one point but only briefly. And his phone call to Henry (?) explaining why nothing was happening. And it struck me. I don't think it's apathy per se, but it seeps from his every pore. This is a man on cruise control. A man who really doesn't have a care in the world. A man who sleeps soundly at night, no matter how ineffective and feckless he is.

And it brings to mind his real predecessor (Cecil aside), namely one Rick 'Coco' Parry. A man who was ridiculed for his neckwear. A man who was castigated for having a penchant for turning his phone off. A man who also liked the flash transport trappings of a fat salary (the R8 and infamous Ferrari). A man who "refused to play the numbers game". A man who, we can never forget, was primarily responsible for leading his thick as pigshit chairman into the arms of a pair of toxic tumours without doing even the most cursory amount of due diligence. Unforgiveable? Yes, probably.

But there's one thing Rick Parry had in spades that Ian Ayre doesn't. And no, I'm not even talking about Parry's stellar credentials as the first CE of the Premier League, or the fact he was known and respected in G14 and UEFA circles, although that's another black mark against Ayre. No, what I'm referring to is that whenever you saw Rick Parry, he looked unkempt and stressed. He was trying to do too much that's evident, and used to disappear to the golf course for some brief respite, but above all else, you could see, he CARED deeply about the club. Ayre? I'm not at all convinced. The financial rewards, the perks, the autocracy to run the shop in lieu of absentee owners, sure he 'cares'. But about the fabric of the club, our current state? I don't see it. And that's - as he keeps mentioning to some scepticism - as an erstwhile Kopite.

This is not a thread to whitewash Parry's numerous crimes, but rather to hold Ayre's abilities and conduct up to what was previously deemed unacceptable and ask the question, is he the right man to be at the helm of Liverpool FC? Why did FSG call off the search for a CEO when their first choice turned them down, and promote a 'yes man' (maybe answers the question itself) into the role?

Look at Man City. Ferran Soriano is a big hitter. A hugely respected man that oversaw Barcelona's complex financial and strategic resurgence. A man that wrote an insightful book ("Goal: The Ball Doesn't Go in By Chance") on how management ideas are implemented in European football. A man who, in his 5 years at Camp Nou, oversaw sponsorship deals with the likes of UNICEF (charitable donation more than sponsorship) and Qatar. And who alongside his recently-reunited colleague Txiki Begiristain, recruitment of extremely high-profile employees, both managerial and footballing. Not to mention his venture capital partnership based in Barcelona and Boston. And yet a man, I'm led to believe, we actually spurned for the role of CEO back in 2010 after our first choice (also a Spaniard) turned us down. The contrast with Ayre is stark to the point of being ridiculous.

So there you have it, it's not meant to be a character assassination as such, just a no-holds-barred assessment of the man currently in charge of everything off the field and, in the notable absence of a DOF, chiefly responsible for supporting Rodgers to improve things on the field. If the club is serious about building for the future, and regaining our place at the top table of European football, then we have to have the right people on board to deliver that. That is very evidently NOT Ian Ayre.

Naturally, I'd be interested in hearing any counter-opinions that support a 'steady ship' philosophy, pointing to his work with minor sponsors etc. and the benefits of him having a Scouse accent.

Edit: I've removed reference to things that haven't been backed with proof. We need proof.

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