Category: “Sport

For heaven’s sake bring back standing at football – an issue no longer being decided by logic

Posted on 16 January 2016 | 11:01am

It was not just the third away win in a week that made Burnley’s trip to Brentford so enjoyable last night. Nor was it merely that the 3-1 victory was secured by first half goals from Scott Arfield, Joey Barton and George Boyd that would not have looked out of place had the venue been the […]

Five thousand words or so on how today’s challenges for leaders are tougher than 1997, and lots of other stuff. Happy Christmas

Posted on 20 December 2015 | 1:12pm

I’ve not done a big blog for a while, so as I penned this speech for a conference in France today, and I saw it was getting close to the 5,000 word mark, I thought ‘why not? Get it up there.’ The conference is in Montpellier in southern France and they asked me to reflect […]

An ancient city of hatred with romance at its heart

Posted on 22 September 2015 | 8:09am

A guest blog from my son Calum, fellow football fanatic and fellow football romantic. Anyone who has ever driven into Marseille from the North side of town should have an inkling of what the city is all about. Its high rise estates, such as Le Castellane (the biggest council estate in Europe) dominate the Northern […]

Fifteen observations, sporting and political, from the opening game of the Rugby World Cup

Posted on 19 September 2015 | 9:09am

Fifteen (see what I did there – not eleven, not thirteen, but fifteen – because this is rugby union we’re talking now) 1. It confirmed the genius of Danny Boyle. The RWC opening ceremony was fine set against the standards of most sporting opening ceremonies. But in scope, scale and creativity – and cost of […]

Why is it always the sports guys who seem to open my mind?

Posted on 21 June 2015 | 12:06pm

I know some of you might think I am one of those people who always thinks he is right. And to be frank, more often than not I am. But I do have a more open mind than most and I do actually love meeting people who make me think differently. Recently I have met […]

Why Arsene Wenger is an inspiration in the battle against alcohol

Posted on 7 June 2015 | 1:06pm

You see, even when I am writing about alcoholism, I have to get in something about sport. Did I tell you I had a book out? It is called WINNERS AND HOW THEY SUCCEED. Arsene Wenger is in it. So are lots of other great sports, business and political winners. And so is my pledge […]

Why ‘Villagate’ is about more than football: it goes to the heart of Cameron character and how he does politics

Posted on 26 April 2015 | 6:04am

Alex Ferguson once said ‘there are two things you can never change – the way you walk. And your football team.’ Now as it happens I think some people do change the way they walk. But football, bloody hell, no, you just cannot change the club you love. So Fergie, despite all those years with […]

Why Australia won their fifth World Cup, and why they deserved to

Posted on 29 March 2015 | 6:03pm

As Australia celebrates yet another sporting success, time to remember the #PUTOUTYOURBATS campaign, which started with this simple quote. “I picked up my cricket bat and I swung it around a few times and padded it down on the ground.” The kind of thing Steven Smith might have said about walking to the crease before making […]

Australia is a winning country, but it looks to me like Tony Abbott is a losing PM

Posted on 1 March 2015 | 12:03pm

If Australians awake tomorrow to see a bleary-eyed me talking to them down a line from late evening London, apologies. In addition to trying to stick to a long-planned media and events book launch schedule, I have had to factor in Burnley FC and, less expectedly, hospital visits to a relative taken ill. So, barely a week […]

Politics has so much to learn from business and sport in the art of winning

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 2:11pm

It is always a nice moment when the publisher sends through the final, final version of the cover of a planned new book. It is especially nice when the designer has taken an idea given by the author – I wanted all the names in my WINNERS book inside an Olympic Gold Medal – and […]