The View from the Spire: More than 7 Days in Sport


And so it would transpire that holidays aside, 7 days is a long time in sport as its been atleast three weeks since I last put pen to paper. (Do you remember when we actually did such old fashioned things?). And doesn’t time fly? However in light of some of the events of the last few days in particular, I feel the time is right to put down in words some of my highlights over that period.

Can I first start by saying that Dubai is a big old tacky ever changing sandpit. It’s weather is lovely and all – especially after the weather we had been experiencing here in the motherland at this time of year – but in a city that moves as quickly as the sands that once graced much of the Emirate did, what chance do foreign taxi drivers have of keeping abreast of the ever changing road network? 

I gripe about this as just last week I was invited to play the new (and apparently wonderful) Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Now this is said to be some course – its the home of the finale of the Race to Dubai – the culmination of a year in the life of the European Tour. Its meant to be a stern test of golf – especially off the back tees, and is meant to be as entertaining a round of golf as any in the Middle East. And so it is with great regret that I report my Indian taxi driver friend failed to know the location of this patch of lush green beauty after 35 minutes of driving into the desert, even after phoning friends and even stopping other taxi drivers and as such I failed to meet my playing partners and make the round – all this at great cost and personal embarrassment.

Not least did my Indian “friend” have the audacity to tell me there was no such place but he took me to the Els Course (one that I have played some two years ago) and on arrival and realising my frustration and disappointment (lets not forget the anger!) offered to take me then to the Montgomerie or the Emirates courses instead? Its such a shame that he had such a nice smile as from that moment on, he was going to look pretty stupid eating corn on the cob with no F-ing teeth! It was not the only time though that I found the taxi drivers of Dubai to be somewhat annoying in their ease of agreement in taking you somewhere but actually demand you tell them where it is and how to get there – which as I am sure you understand, is near impossible when you are a visitor. Hey ho.

And just Monday I was again frustrated by the glorious world of football who announced the departure of Phil Brown from Hull after a tough season of yoyo-ing in and out of the relegation zone of the Premier League. Phil Brown is a perfectly capable individual and typical of a club who are threatened with the loss of over £100 Million in revenue (as apparently the Premier League appears to guarantee these days!) but what benefit does bringing in a less than perfect Iain Dowie going to bring to the hopes and dreams of the Tigers’ squad and their army of supporters? I think its high time that football was handed a firm lesson in business and learnt the fundamental basics of how to treat people right, with respect – and no more so than these clubs’ supporters. These are the most important people in football across the land…. 

And finally what week couldn’t go by without a mention about our beloved Tiger Woods. Amazingly, the new 4 – 1 favourite for the 2010 Masters – yes this years Masters! Tiger yesterday confirmed his intention to return to the sport at the home of the years first Major – in Augusta, ending months of speculation about his return and to the delight of the PGA Tour whom have seen sizeable drops in viewing audiences and sponsorship since Tigers departure from the game in November.

All this just leaves one oldie but a goodie: What’s the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a ball 350 yards….

While his joke telling (not funny?) or golfing CV may not be up to much (handicap 3), David Jenkins, Director of Fettes Management, comes from 15+ years extensive experience of Senior Managerial roles in sport, leisure, technology, ecommerce and charity. For further information please see David’s CV here.

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