Friday High Five – what’s in the news this week

In years to come the comments of Gary Roden, the now ex-boss of the £365m Co-op Live arena, dismissing the concerns of small venues, will be taught in business schools as how not to do communications and messaging over sensitive issues.

He said many small venues were struggling because they were badly run.

Days later, the large venue he was running, cancelled its opening shows by nation’s favourite funny man Peter Kay, because: “It is critical to ensure we have a consistent total power supply to our fully electric sustainable venue, the completion of which is a few days behind.”

Words matter.

I bet Regis Schultz, CEO of JD Sports wishes he hadn’t pledged to make £1bn of profit. His reputation is only slowly rebuilding after coming in with a mere £935m in the last end of year numbers.

The transformation of the Bury-headquartered retail giant into a global brand seems very much on track again.

This week we also ran the story of footballer John Barnes being banned as a company director after failing to pay his taxes.

The gleeful tinge to that story angered me a bit. This was the Insolvency Service saying, “look at us, a high profile prosecution”.

But like the police, and other enforcement agencies, and as we saw recently, the Post Office, they like to prosecute easy targets.

Meanwhile there are fraudsters out there getting away with it because frankly they run rings around the authorities, including the Insolvency Service, when they refuse to co-operate, draw out legal processes and, in some instances, cry ‘mental health’ when the screw tightens.

Sometimes it’s left to the media and private companies to do the hard yards and seek a different form of justice.

I wish Jo Ahmed well in her mission to lead Big Four accountancy and advisory firm Deloitte, but there remains a disconnect between the positive external messaging and the firm’s humbling retreat from the corporate finance world.

Elsewhere, there’s more coverage of some of the major deals on our Rainmakers Substack, including the sale of NRG, a buyout at Johnson Tiles and the potential sale of Donald Trump’s favourite fake tan product, St Tropez by PZ Cussons.

Have a great weekend.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...