Trickable owners (a list for future reference)

Brother: Yeah, financially there is no real way to get rid of him. You need another Roman to trick.

Me: Potential owners who seem trickable (a list for future reference):

Venky's the Menace

Jealousy runs rife within football. Fans laughing at other clubs’ misfortunes as well as disparaging botched takeovers and transfers are actions rooted in envy - they all begin with a sense of hope and promise for a team that is not yours. Blackburn felt the full weight of these afflictions last season and continue to do so today. Others’ jealousy at the prospect of investment and big-name signings for the club then turned into pity for the plight of Steve Kean. Now today, like a contagious disease, Blackburn pose the threat of not only harming themselves but those around them too. 

With a lavish carrot but over-used stick Blackburn’s Indian owners Venky’s have replaced two managers within three months. Kean and Henning Berg made ignominious exits while irresponsible and foolish have become epithets for the club’s executive decision-makers. Their unpredictable ways have become less and less interesting for the footballing public, rendering their actions into quite the opposite: expected. In football, a wager on ineptitude and folly is much more likely to pay out than one on brilliance.

  An unenviable fate - one that is only pitied once there exists no threat to a fan’s own interests. Try telling that to Blackpool. “There is no animosity” Tangerines chairman, Karl Oyston, proclaimed as Ian Holloway left for Crystal Palace. Considering their thrilling Play-off victory and consequent Premier League adventure, Oyston’s words are understandable. Thesearch for a replacement took only four days as Michael Appleton signed.

Aboard the sinking ship that was Portsmouth, Appleton could not have been given a harder vessel to steer. Financial turmoil contrasted greatly with his humble and diligent attitude, overshadowing any tactical feebleness. Little expense and Manchester United pedigree were the stand out features on Appleton’s CV and clearly enough to persuade Blackpool.

But 66 days was all it took for Blackburn to begin inflicting their havoc on others. Appleton replaced Berg, Blackpool on the manager hunt again. Rejection at their first approach must only have been down to a lack in compensation - a matter quickly resolved with Venky’s financial clout. To throw their weight around a league in which most clubs endeavour to stay in the black is reprehensible. It is doubtful Blackpool will be the last club to suffer at the hands of such arrogance and boisterousness but nevertheless, a pattern that must be avoided. Blackburn’s implosion is in no way welcomed but when the debris starts to take others down with them such terrible ownership is at its worst.  

Few will imagine a scenario in which Appleton lasts a significant time in charge. Perhaps it is the lack of criticism for owners he demonstrated at Portsmouth that Venky’s are after. They’ll need someone fighting their corner, or at least not condemning them, if this behaviour continues. 

Sanjay Dutt Sanjay Dutt Sanjay Dutt with Pop Singer AKON as the latter launches Venky Express at Cyber Tower in Madhapur, Hyderabad.

There’s an Uber for everything now: Apps do your chores, such as shopping, parking, cooking, cleaning, packing, shipping and more. The nascent world of on-demand delivery is betting that the smartphone era is breeding a new kind of shopper.

The big idea behind on-demand apps, says Venky Ganesan, managing director at venture-capital firm Menlo Ventures, which has invested in Uber, Munchery (food delivery), UrbanSitter (baby sitting) and Rover (dog sitting), among others, is that by making it much easier to create a trustworthy marketplace, he says, apps take advantage of previously underused resources, including both temporary workers and things like empty parking spots. This can make an on-demand concierge economy both convenient and efficient, he says.

Can tech companies really offer better experiences than the taqueria, flower shop or dry cleaner down the street, while taking a cut for themselves? Not necessarily. Quality control is a challenge when the supervisor is just software. There have beeen horror stories from readers and colleagues who have tried shipping and laundry apps. And these apps have been coming and going quickly: At least two on-demand carwash services have already gone defunct in San Francisco.

And fundamentally, how much does using your phone as a concierge make sense beyond Silicon Valley, New York City and Los Angeles? It’s a question of both supply of willing part-time app workers and demand for a concierge lifestyle.