Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Anyone want to rent some floor space?

Even though the presence of AEG from the Council meeting agenda was removed at the last minute, they were actually there on the night (see picture) to give a lesson in spin presentation after losing out on the supercasino to Manchester.

As expected, they stuck to their line that if there was no casino then there would not be hotels and that the area could kiss £350 million quid goodbye. Questions were allowed at the end, which saw Cllr Thorpe get himself flustered (he never goes bright red honestly!) about rumours that the public saw the Dome as a white elephant - actually Danny, we see it as a big white tent.

There was then a rather amusing moment where the Glorious Leader, Chris Roberts, tried to pin the failure of the Greenwich's bid for the supercasino on Tory Cllr Nigel Fletcher. All very bizarre as we thought he'd be blaming us.

The highlight of AEG's presentation though was when they suggested if anyone present knew anyone who might want to rent the now unused casino floor space, if they did they should give AEG a call!
Picture taken from "Casino Bid Wrecker", Nigel Fletcher

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Blogger Indigo said...

Well, if they'd had some contingency plans (Plan Bs) ready for their - shall we call it - "flexible exhition space" - they'd be implementing them now instead of standing around like wallflowers. Like hosting the Chinese terra cotta army (which will be at the British Museum, instead). The last time the terra cotta army was in the UK, it drew HUGE crowds.

Come on, AEG, like it or not this is "old Europe" - not immature, irresponsible, exploitative USA - time to think like Europeans if you want to have a life here.

10:11 am  
Blogger CharltonParker said...

I guess AEG and Greenwich council didn't read the Casino Advisory Panel report, which reminded us that when AEG was sold the Dome they had already promised a hotel and they saw no reason why one would not go ahead ! Although they had reservations about the other hotel they promised which is fair enough. But pointed out the whole area is being regenerated under two other projects, the olympics and a arena. On another note I would like to see the PWC report that was commissioned with public money! Since I don't think commercial sensitivity is plausible anymore? Unless they are waiting for the next round of Super Casinos. (not holding my breath)

1:32 pm  
Anonymous Fred said...

But Indigo, how long do you think the Terracotta army exhibition has been planned? It takes years to set up something that big - and its far more likely to go to an established museum than in to an unfinished space. And they are bringing the Tut exhibition - it was confirmed last week!

I think you'll find that AEG is run by Brits in the UK - the boss who was at the presentation certainly has a long history of working here if you google him. I found this..(here,,1794091,00.html)

"Born in Glasgow, Campbell went to London aged 13 when his father moved with his job at a US diesel engineering firm. A faint Scottish burr only comes out when he is either with Scots friends, angry or drunk. "It's very noticeable when I'm all three," he says. His accent does contain traces of the nine years he spent in the US after the family moved to Indiana when he was just 16. He studied media and business at Washington University, in St Louis, before joining the marketing department of General Mills, the foods group.

The "horribly obnoxious" ambitious 21-year-old was then poached by Pepsi to work in New York selling diet and caffeine-free products. They moved him back to London two years later and he has never left. "I started to look for a job and liked the look of this funny, upstart company called Virgin."

He worked for Branson for 11 years, eventually running Virgin Radio when it was taken over by the former Big Breakfast presenter Evans, in 1997. The pair had known each other for years when Ginger Media's financial backers suggested the business needed someone with a bit more business experience.

Campbell told the backers: "If you ever see me on TV and Chris talking to you about finances, that's the time to get worried." The partnership seemed to work. The company was sold to SMG three years later for £225m. Of previous partnerships, he says: "I would hope in all of those relationships it's a partnership, but I do recognise I'm the junior."

With a "small stake" in the company, he made enough to buy a listed pub near his West Sussex home. He was elected as an independent parish councillor. A headhunter contacted him about a job selling London - in a way a bigger step-change for Campbell than his current job. It led directly to AEG. "If you had told me 20 years ago ... this is what I'd be doing, I'd never have believed you." "

12:28 am  
Blogger Indigo said...

@Fred, I think you'll find that AEG is run by Brits in the UK

And the AEG Brits are run by the AEG Americans. Why would Anschutz invite Prezza to his ranch and give him a cowboy suit? Because inviting Prezza to a listed pub in damp Sussex and sending him home with a jar of pickled onions would not have had the "desired" result.

Still, I am very interested to read how close Campbell is to Ken Livingstone. Will have to re-educate Ken about the social consequences of opening a giant casino.

8:04 pm  

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