Tag Archives: karen brady

Since when did Karren Brady become a respectful business woman

21 May

I find it awkward watching The Apprentice UK. In the middle you have a man of some awe. Struggled throughout his teenage years to establish an empire out of a van, perhaps the more successful Trotter brother. To the right of him, Karren Brady, lauded as the spokeswoman of all successful business women. The BBC describes her as “The highly successful business woman…” who “takes her role as Lord Sugar’s new board member.” Just parsing through her business history it strikes me that it is more characterised by complete failure rather than any successes. After a brief stint at Saatchi & Saatchi she then joined Sports Newspapers Ltd in 1998 at the healm of David Sullivan’s media porn empire.

After becoming Chairman at Birmingham City they were languishing in the lowly leagues and my school had the oft pleasure of hosting their training as their pitches were so poor.  It is well known that David Sullivan, the prior owner of the Blues sought to monetise the fame that a young female Director would have brought to Birmingham City Football Club. After many years of out-spending their peers the Blues finally managed promotion under the guidance of Steve Bruce. Brady also oversaw the murky takeover of the club by Carson Yeung which involved a weird ownership structure where it is reported that Yeung agreed to buy the club in partial, and then would buyout the remainder over an agreed schedule of time. Easy enough for Brady and the Board to understand, but fans were left bemused and the manager, Steve Bruce, with uncertainty around full disclosures and prolonged contract negotiations exited the sinking ship.

Sullivan and Brady were also arrested by the City of London Police in 2008 as part of a wider police probe into corruption in football. She was released on bail and all charges were dropped. She left Birmingham City Football Club following the full takeover.

Now she is Vice-Chairman of West Ham, oversaw the horrible signings of Kieron Dyer, Benni McCarthy (who has already agreed a payout in exchange for an early contract termination) among many others.  Significant financial losses have also been racked up and the club have now also had the humuliating confirmation of regulation. So the only female chairman of a Premier League club ends up bottom. It is this demarcation of the genders that is unhealthy. People should be measured on talent and ability, when factors other than that are introduced it is usually accompanied with corresponding problems as we have seen with Karren Brady.

If Alan Sugar is short of successful female business women, here’s a few he should consider: convince Margaret Mountford to come back,  Mary Perkins, co-founder, Specsavers, Rosaleen Blair, founder CEO, Alexander Mann Solutions, Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive of Anglo American among many others.

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