Friday, January 13, 2023

Herring days

 For the London taxi drivers this time of the year used to be called "Herring days"

Business was so bad that they couldn't afford meat !

To be honest a few weeks in the South of France would be great. Good food and great wine.

A friend of mine used to vanish from Dublin for months at a time.

I asked him about it and he said from the second of Jan until Easter he would go off to Spain or Florida and return at Easter.People have hide away homes and I paint the place and pay the bills while I am there. In Spain he arranged golf tournaments and in the USA I arrange poker games.

He said to me that I must love the tax man if I keep on working.

He has a good point.

If you don't look out you cannot progress.

A story from life as best I can remember it.

A footballer broke his leg coming up to the final, his team won and he didn't get a medal.

He was very depressed and a mate of his who had a market stall asked him to come with him to Sheffield market to be a Shill,

On the way there he trained him in witty comebacks and he as a a shill would offer witty comebacks to the quips of the stall holder. Then he would take an hours break and go through it all again. On the way home the stall holder asked him if he had a passport? He had one and a week later they were in the van heading off to the south of France. The dealer family owned a villa and they took turns to chill out.Rule number one was to stay out of the sun. "If you have a suntan in February no one will trust you".

He trained him to sell Magnetic window cleaners with great jokes thrown in. Mike went to the markets and he had an idea. women's products were mostly sold in chemists shops with a great mark up. He opened a discount store which took off when the word got around. The shops were stocked up late at night and the shops started selling at 9 am and by 1 pm  the shops were empty.

He built it up and then he sold the business.

A short retirement and he went into the supermarket business, one of the very first in the UK. He built it up and sold it. 

I think that his next venture was JB sports a sportswear company and he put his stores on the first floor to get a cheaper rent.

His business advisors told him to"go public", he sold shares and stepped back.

But he noticed that money was being taken out of the company. So he put in surveillance and nailed to thieves. The share price of the company dropped. 

What did he do? He bought the shares back. He bought a football team Newcastle United and he now also runs leisure clubs in the north of England.

OK so Mr Google tells me that Mr. Mike Ashley now owns.

Sports direct  Karrimor,Kangol and Londsdale. A 4.6 share in Umbro. DW sports, Everlast fitness club.

So here is the list






Hot tuna



LA gear



No Fear


Frazer group

So the Sunday Times rich list reckons that he is worth £2.7 Billion  Not bad at all

Mike Ashley Look him up

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