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Invited to become an AIM Casino NED - I'm flattered but I'd rather eat my own toes

By Tom Winnifrith | Saturday 15 July 2017


I will not name the company but suffice to say its management are greedy bastards who have not delivered. Its assets are shite and its balance sheet a trainwreck. The company and all associated with it, especially the paid shrills, merit a one way trip to the glue factory. With those clues I guess that narrows the list of possible candidates down to about 60% of the stocks on the Casino.

But there is a plan for a clear out and those behind it asked if I wanted to become a NED. I am flattered but would rather eat my own toes. Let me explain.

An AIM Ned trousers £20,000 to £50,000 per annum. I cannot pretend that for doing two days work a month that would not be a bad whack. I am a man with modest needs and a Mrs earning a cushy living filling the empty minds of impressionable young folk with left wing nonsense. So a couple of non exec gigs would easily be enough to see me through to my dotage. At one time in my life i would have been sorely tempted.


A NED has very little power but in theory can lose the lot. For if a company does something terribly wrong all directors are equally culpable. And certainly the reputational risk of being involved in a corporate disaster even as a NED where you were not to blame is awful. Just ask Gavin Burnell. For ever more he will be known as Gavin Burnell of Globo infamy. No one is suggesting that Gavin stole Globo's dosh or even knew about it but that will not save his name. it is destroyed forever. Actually he has been involved in so many disasters that he had little good standing to lose but you get my drift

Would you risk your name for for a couple of grand a month?

Moreover as a NED you really are powerless. The Executive Directors make all the decisions and if they want to can pull the wool over your eyes. Your sanctions are pretty much limited to the nuclear option of resigning. There is no half way house.

I remember my time in the corporate world and come out in a cold sweat as I remember being told what to wear, what I could say and what I could or could not write. Failing to obey any diktat could apparently bring the company into disrepute and mean all sorts of trouble for me. Never again
I also remember just how fucking boring board meetings can be. Everything must be minuted, seconded, proposed and the most utter rubbish must be covered in detail. I remember one discussion in a board meeting about what board room table we should have. I kid you not.Life is too short. Never again!

I am flattered but for the avoidance of doubt in case anyone else is minded to ask, I would rather eat my own toes than ever sit on any board of any company listed or unlisted ever again.

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