Friday 25 Jul 2014
Lord Sugar – one of the country's leading entrepreneurs – is famous for his hard hitting approach to business. Now, in a brand new documentary for BBC Two, he is tackling an industry close to his heart – football. In Lord Sugar Tackles Football (1x60 minutes) he will embark on a revealing and fascinating journey into the business side of the beautiful game.
Over the last 20 years, English football has changed beyond recognition. Premier League clubs now make nearly £2bn a year from TV, match day and sponsorship income. But despite becoming a successful global export beamed into more than 500 million homes around the world, English football is an industry that's struggling to make ends meet.
Investigating the financial problems facing football, Lord Sugar will interview bosses, owners, agents and players and ask what has gone wrong, who is to blame and what can be done. In typically forthright fashion, he will deliver his verdict and his own five-point business blueprint designed to help the game he's followed since childhood.
Lord Sugar says: "For the good of the game – a game that entertains so many people – a game that people look forward to, that's part of their lives, there needs to be some very, very big actions taken. Football needs a dose of hard business reality."
Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor, History and Business, says: "Football is big business and our national game has become a successful global brand, but behind the star players and billionaire owners it's surprising to hear so many teams are struggling to makes ends meet.
"It's a fascinating business model to explore and I'm very excited that Lord Sugar will be offering BBC Two viewers his expert business analysis – and I look forward to seeing what surprises he has in store for us."
Lord Sugar Tackles Football features interviews with: West Ham's Vice Chairman, Karren Brady; former player and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Harry Redknapp; Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore; the Premier League's all-time record goal-scorer Alan Shearer; chairman of Wigan Athletic, Dave Whelan; and President of Uefa Michel Platini.
Lord Sugar Tackles Football has been commissioned by Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor, History and Business. Michael Tuft is the Executive Producer for the BBC and the Producer and Director is Dan Trelford. The programme is produced by BBC Vision and will be broadcast this spring.
Lord Sugar started supporting Tottenham Hotspur as a boy growing up in Hackney. After making his fortune with Amstrad in the Eighties, he stepped in to save his local club from financial disaster. Sugar spent 10 turbulent years as Chairman, selling Spurs for around £50m in 2001, but he says running a football club was one of his least successful business ventures. No longer club Chairman, Lord Sugar remains a fan with a keen eye on the business side of the game.