Hammers vice charman Karren Brady has found herself at the centre of a pretty torrid interview in which the journalist responsible – from The Times
– has asked her the sort of questions that may have needed answering for some time.
Journalist Sabah Maddings – writing under a headline declaring – Karren Brady: ‘I try not to promote myself but it’s hard’ -makes some wicked points about how she perceives as her “two sides.”
The piece focuses mainly on her various business interests – which have been a problem for Hammers fans for some time – notably her Sky column which many of us believe represents a big conflict of interests.
But beyond the main focus of the article she has a brief word about Hammers fans bitterly disappointed at the way things have worked out at the London Stadium.
She declares: “Football is a kind of religion for (West Ham fans). You do everything you can to make it work. Sometimes it doesn’t!”
At a business level the “sometimes it doesn’t” comment means in real terms that pre-tax profits of £19.2 million in the year to the end of May 2008 are down from £43 million. Sales meanwhile fell from £183.3 million to £175.3m
The bitter complaints about the stadium itself from many fans may or may not be included in the Brady view of things. Like much else in her answers, that is unclear.
The only other direct reference to the Irons comes from her as the person charged with sacking Manuel Pellegrini where she adds: “We did expect him to do what he had to do.”
Meanwhile Maddings writes that one side of Baroness Brady is the warm womens’ champion and the other “a question dodging self promoter” who according to her website is ‘ one of the most highly influential, high profile and respected female business leaders in the UK.’
Her latest business venture is named after herself – The Karren Brady MBA – available to all wanabee top operators, by the way, at a mere £12.5k if you are interested !
Her comment on that: “There’s a really fine line between promoting the things you believe in and people believing you are promoting yourself. That’s a very hard line not to cross and I try not to cross it.” Hmm!
Her role as a womens’ rights campaigner is covered along with her resignation from Sir Philip Green’s holding company following allegations the retail tycoon sexually and racially harassed staff.
Brady claimed she had a “sense of duty” to its employees and that “walking away” would be the easy thing to do. Two weeks later, she resigned.”
She’s asked, “as an influential woman”, whether she doesn’t have a duty to speak out against men who behave as Green allegedly did? She once denounced Harvey Weinstein as a “serial predator”.
Maddings reports: The temperature in the room drops. “I do speak out about these types of things,” Brady snaps. “I speak out quite vocally, whether that’s through my columns [in The Sun], whether that’s in the House of Lords, or whether that’s generally, so to suggest I haven’t wouldn’t be right.”
That’s the one and only mention of The Sun which some claim earn her around £4k a week. It feels bizarre that she should speak out on such matters to a tabloid which has no serious record of looking at women’s minds rather than their bodies.
Karren Brady has always been a hugely controversial West Ham figure – this interview probably demonstrates why more accurately than any before it.
ClaretandHugh says: Karren Brady believes she knows about the media and how to handle it but her responses to Ms Maddings in this piece do her no favours. There are simply too many inconsistencies and her various business interests – with the degree of self promotion involved as a result – has many fans justifiably asking how on earth she can do the West Ham job properly. Her passing remark that “You do everything you can to make it work. Sometimes it doesn’t!” is as near confirmation of that as you can get. We have always had issues with her attitude to the Hammers fans who all too often appear to be brushed off as an in inconvenient side issue as appears to be the case in this last remark. From a purely professional point of view we applaud Maddings for a brave and straightforward interview. The responses often speak volumes about the Hammers vice chairman.