Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jobs for the Boy

Being the chairman of the ECB should be a pretty much full time job for any normal human being. As a paid up member of the master race, however, Jonathan Marland (Let’s give him his real name – not the 11th century throwback) is planning, if elected, to combine the role with his other work. We aren’t talking evening work in the local pub, or stacking shelves in Sainsburys here –

  • Chairman, Heriot Ltd.
  • Chairman Clareville Capital LLP
  • Director Janspeed Ltd
  • Director Hunter Boot Ltd
  • Director WH Ireland Ltd
Oddly, there’s nothing to specify which one of these is the ‘day job’ so to speak. Away from the mad mad mad mad world of business, he also finds the time for -

  • Tory Peer in the House of Lords
  • Chairman of Harnham Water Meadows Trust (Very Beatrix Potter that)
  • Trustee of The Peggy Guggenheim Museum (UK)
  • Trustee of the Churchill Society
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
  • Chairman of The Sports Nexus
  • President of Salisbury FC
  • Treasurer and Trustee of the Atlantic Partnership

With all those taking up his valuable hours, it’s hard to see how he’s going to make the time to chair the ECB. It doesn’t strike me as the sort of organisation where you can simply breeze into the office once a week, bandy around some meaningless platitudes and then go off for a good lunch, before stumbling back into the office at four-thirty to mutter incoherently and drool over a secretary.

In the next couple of years some, or more likely all, of the following are going to be on the ECB agenda requiring positive action and forceful and committed leadership –

  • Relations with the IPL,
  • Ongoing relations with other boards, most importantly the ICB,
  • The worldwide recession and potential sponsorship contraction resulting from it,
  • The long-running Kolpak debate,
  • Ashes 2009 and post Ashes strategy,
  • Ashes 2011/12,
  • Appointing a new head coach,
  • Reorganisation of ECB structure,
  • Holding an inquiry into the leaks during the Kevgate affair,
  • Determining a satisfactory balance of 20/20 with other cricket.
On top of that, there’s the day to day issues arising from the workings of a highly dysfunctional organisation like the ECB. Such is the turmoil that you wouldn’t be at all surprised if it suddenly declared war on Honduras or signed a sponsorship deal with Kalashnikov Rifles.

Rather than signpost any radical change from the Clarke Agenda, Marland’s manifesto seems to be, ‘I’m not going to change much – just try and do things in a more sympathetic manner without frightening the horses’ – liberally laced with gin and tonic I suspect.

It reminds me of the early 80’s when the Tory Party were split between ‘wets’ and ‘drys’. The drys were Giles Clarke – pushy businessmen, aggressive and results orientated – not concerned about whose toes they trod or, more literally, how many working class communities they trashed or how much of the social fabric of society they shredded.

The wets were very much of the same mind, but just a bit more squeamish about it.


Islander said...

Ever thought of writing for Private Eye? or maybe the Morning Star.

Sanath said...


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Mark said...

Sanath - I need to sort a lot of links - this weekend after the rugby.

Islander - Erm, thanks. Don't think the Stalinists at the Morning Star would have me! The Eye's a good read though...