Birmingham City

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Detail of figures and flowers are seen on The Windrush Garden, created by Birmingham City Council at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain, May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Detail of figures and flowers are seen on The Windrush Garden, created by Birmingham City Council at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain
Detail of figures and flowers are seen on The Windrush Garden, created by Birmingham City Council at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain, May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Stoke are close to appointing Gary Rowett as their new manager after agreeing to pay the £1.8m compensation fee. Relegated Stoke have returned for Rowett, their No 1 target in January after the dismissal of Mark Hughes, and are hoping to agree a deal in the next 48 hours as they prepare for the Championship. Rowett was top of Stoke's list in the New Year, yet opted to stay at Pride Park as negotiations over a new contract were advanced, subsequently guiding Derby to the Championship play-offs. But Stoke have revived their long-term interest in the former defender and want him to lead their promotion challenge following relegation from the Premier League. It is understood the move is being driven by John Coates, Stoke's influential vice-chairman, who has admired Rowett for some time. Sources at Stoke have revealed that Rowett has been on Stoke's radar since his start at Burton Albion, with the 44-year-old also impressing in spells at Birmingham City and Derby. Rowett signed a new £1.5m a year contract in January and it is understood compensation is just under the £2m mark. Stoke parted company with Paul Lambert last Friday and are keen to bring in a new manager by the end of the week. Derby issued a statement on Monday evening. It read: "Derby County Football Club can confirm that Gary Rowett has asked for permission to speak with Stoke City regarding the vacant manager’s position at the bet365 Stadium. "The club is now in discussion with Stoke regarding the matter and will update our supporters in due course." Rowett's past achievements include leading Burton to the League Two play-offs on two occasions, while he finished sixth with Derby in his first full season in charge. Fulham lost the first leg at Pride Park but went through as winners after a 2-0 home win last Monday. Derby are set to slash their budget after missing out on promotion, with owner Mel Morris determined to lower the club's cost base. As a result, leading scorer Matej Vydra is likely to be sold to the highest bidder. Stoke, meanwhile, have the incentive of parachute payments and are making a huge attempt to seal a swift return to the top-flight. Though stars such as England goalkeeper Jack Butland, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Allen could be sold, Stoke are focusing on building a competitive squad capable of mounting a serious challenge. Rowett is the man they want to lead them into a new era and his appointment could even be confirmed on Tuesday.
Stoke in talks to appoint Gary Rowett of Derby as new manager
Stoke are close to appointing Gary Rowett as their new manager after agreeing to pay the £1.8m compensation fee. Relegated Stoke have returned for Rowett, their No 1 target in January after the dismissal of Mark Hughes, and are hoping to agree a deal in the next 48 hours as they prepare for the Championship. Rowett was top of Stoke's list in the New Year, yet opted to stay at Pride Park as negotiations over a new contract were advanced, subsequently guiding Derby to the Championship play-offs. But Stoke have revived their long-term interest in the former defender and want him to lead their promotion challenge following relegation from the Premier League. It is understood the move is being driven by John Coates, Stoke's influential vice-chairman, who has admired Rowett for some time. Sources at Stoke have revealed that Rowett has been on Stoke's radar since his start at Burton Albion, with the 44-year-old also impressing in spells at Birmingham City and Derby. Rowett signed a new £1.5m a year contract in January and it is understood compensation is just under the £2m mark. Stoke parted company with Paul Lambert last Friday and are keen to bring in a new manager by the end of the week. Derby issued a statement on Monday evening. It read: "Derby County Football Club can confirm that Gary Rowett has asked for permission to speak with Stoke City regarding the vacant manager’s position at the bet365 Stadium. "The club is now in discussion with Stoke regarding the matter and will update our supporters in due course." Rowett's past achievements include leading Burton to the League Two play-offs on two occasions, while he finished sixth with Derby in his first full season in charge. Fulham lost the first leg at Pride Park but went through as winners after a 2-0 home win last Monday. Derby are set to slash their budget after missing out on promotion, with owner Mel Morris determined to lower the club's cost base. As a result, leading scorer Matej Vydra is likely to be sold to the highest bidder. Stoke, meanwhile, have the incentive of parachute payments and are making a huge attempt to seal a swift return to the top-flight. Though stars such as England goalkeeper Jack Butland, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Allen could be sold, Stoke are focusing on building a competitive squad capable of mounting a serious challenge. Rowett is the man they want to lead them into a new era and his appointment could even be confirmed on Tuesday.
Garry Monk's face now has pride of place on the backside of a Birmingham City supporter after an ill-advised social media bet.
Fan shows off Monk face tattoo on bottom
Garry Monk's face now has pride of place on the backside of a Birmingham City supporter after an ill-advised social media bet.
Bromley FC is a proud old club, but not a successful one. Dave Roberts’ book The Bromley Boys chronicles the author following the team in the 1960s, when it had an authentic claim to being the worst in the country. The town it represents has a higher population than Crewe, Shrewsbury and Accrington but has never hosted the league football expected in those places. Instead, Bromley have just completed a third season of steady improvement in the National League, the highest level the club have ever reached. They have visited Wembley once, for the final of the old FA Amateur Cup in 1949 for a 1-0 win over Romford in front of 96,000. They return on Sunday for the FA Trophy final and have a player to call on who has already played three times under the arch, seeking a redemptive coda to a varied career. Centre-back Roger Johnson was part of the Birmingham City side who beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, and with Cardiff when they lost the FA Cup final to Portsmouth in 2008 but beat Barnsley in the semi at Wembley. “Everyone says ‘just try and relax and enjoy the day’ but it’s very stressful,” he says. “The anxiety, getting there, the build-up. I’m sure once we’re out there and the whistle blows we’ll be fine.” Johnson, 35, looks remarkably lean as we talk after a video analysis session at Bromley’s Hayes Lane home. An armful of tattoos indicates his tour of duty in the modern Premier League, where he shone at Birmingham, endured a tougher spell at Wolves and turned out four times for West Ham as recently as 2014. The Wembley opponents are Brackley Town from the tier below and while Bromley have sold an impressive 20,000 tickets the stadium will still be sparsely occupied. Nevertheless, Johnson puts the game on a par with his most notable previous visit. “Winning on Sunday would mean as much as the Birmingham win,” he says. “Yeah it’s not an 89,000 sell-out against an Arsenal team with Robin van Persie in it who beat Barcelona nine days before, but we’re we’re there on merit.” Surprisingly heartfelt words from a man who came close to the England squad while with Birmingham. “I got six England call-ups for the 30-man squad, but nobody got injured so I didn’t make the 23,” he says. It was a rapid ascension after a long apprenticeship at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made his debut at 17. Cardiff eventually took a gamble on him in 2006 before Johnson stepped up to the Premier League with Birmingham. That solid side finished ninth in his first season but were relegated three months after their Wembley win. Johnson joined Bromley after 18 months at Charlton Athletic Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph A move to Wolves followed to prolong his top-flight career but little went to plan. He strongly disputes stories he once arrived at training worse for wear from the night before, but addresses his time at Molineux with candour. “I blame myself,” he says. “I had a dip in form, in a team of people that had a dip in form. I was blocking shots and it was going in off me, I was making stupid errors that I never make. “A regret is taking the captaincy when it was offered to me. It made my signing even bigger because I was the team captain and if things are going wrong the skipper has to answer for it. “It was hard to dig people out and have an opinion on what was going wrong, because I was one of the things that wasn’t working.” Loans to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham took him away from the West Midlands before two spells at Charlton, either side of a sojourn in India with Pune City and unlikely team-mates Adrian Mutu and Didier Zokora. “I’d never choose to go to that side of the world personally, but I’ve seen the whole of India now. Goa was good, but the north-east was tough. There was no phone signal. Some of the flights were very dodgy, but it’s a tick in a box.” A far cry from Bromley’s Hayes Lane, surely one of the country’s only grounds which is approached via a road next to a field of grazing horses. Johnson celebrates Birmingham's victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final in the traditional fashion Credit: Action Images/Lee Smith After a knee injury and a subsequent blood poisoning from the surgery to treat it, Johnson is happy to be back playing the game he loves. “I’m not going to sit here and think I’ve had a failed career,” he says. “Every player wants to reach the Premier League and play for their country, I did one of them and got very close to the other.” Calm and philosophical, he seems every inch the elder statesmen and you can easily imagine him coaching. “I’m not too proud to go down the divisions but I probably wouldn’t drop any further, unless there was a player-coach role. I can’t see myself doing pub football. “There are some horrible people out there, who want to bad mouth you and write nonsense on social media. But have they been a footballer? No they haven’t. “My career, my stats, and what I’ve won speak for themselves. Wikipedia it, then write me something on social media.”
Roger Johnson returns for another shot at Wembley
Bromley FC is a proud old club, but not a successful one. Dave Roberts’ book The Bromley Boys chronicles the author following the team in the 1960s, when it had an authentic claim to being the worst in the country. The town it represents has a higher population than Crewe, Shrewsbury and Accrington but has never hosted the league football expected in those places. Instead, Bromley have just completed a third season of steady improvement in the National League, the highest level the club have ever reached. They have visited Wembley once, for the final of the old FA Amateur Cup in 1949 for a 1-0 win over Romford in front of 96,000. They return on Sunday for the FA Trophy final and have a player to call on who has already played three times under the arch, seeking a redemptive coda to a varied career. Centre-back Roger Johnson was part of the Birmingham City side who beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, and with Cardiff when they lost the FA Cup final to Portsmouth in 2008 but beat Barnsley in the semi at Wembley. “Everyone says ‘just try and relax and enjoy the day’ but it’s very stressful,” he says. “The anxiety, getting there, the build-up. I’m sure once we’re out there and the whistle blows we’ll be fine.” Johnson, 35, looks remarkably lean as we talk after a video analysis session at Bromley’s Hayes Lane home. An armful of tattoos indicates his tour of duty in the modern Premier League, where he shone at Birmingham, endured a tougher spell at Wolves and turned out four times for West Ham as recently as 2014. The Wembley opponents are Brackley Town from the tier below and while Bromley have sold an impressive 20,000 tickets the stadium will still be sparsely occupied. Nevertheless, Johnson puts the game on a par with his most notable previous visit. “Winning on Sunday would mean as much as the Birmingham win,” he says. “Yeah it’s not an 89,000 sell-out against an Arsenal team with Robin van Persie in it who beat Barcelona nine days before, but we’re we’re there on merit.” Surprisingly heartfelt words from a man who came close to the England squad while with Birmingham. “I got six England call-ups for the 30-man squad, but nobody got injured so I didn’t make the 23,” he says. It was a rapid ascension after a long apprenticeship at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made his debut at 17. Cardiff eventually took a gamble on him in 2006 before Johnson stepped up to the Premier League with Birmingham. That solid side finished ninth in his first season but were relegated three months after their Wembley win. Johnson joined Bromley after 18 months at Charlton Athletic Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph A move to Wolves followed to prolong his top-flight career but little went to plan. He strongly disputes stories he once arrived at training worse for wear from the night before, but addresses his time at Molineux with candour. “I blame myself,” he says. “I had a dip in form, in a team of people that had a dip in form. I was blocking shots and it was going in off me, I was making stupid errors that I never make. “A regret is taking the captaincy when it was offered to me. It made my signing even bigger because I was the team captain and if things are going wrong the skipper has to answer for it. “It was hard to dig people out and have an opinion on what was going wrong, because I was one of the things that wasn’t working.” Loans to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham took him away from the West Midlands before two spells at Charlton, either side of a sojourn in India with Pune City and unlikely team-mates Adrian Mutu and Didier Zokora. “I’d never choose to go to that side of the world personally, but I’ve seen the whole of India now. Goa was good, but the north-east was tough. There was no phone signal. Some of the flights were very dodgy, but it’s a tick in a box.” A far cry from Bromley’s Hayes Lane, surely one of the country’s only grounds which is approached via a road next to a field of grazing horses. Johnson celebrates Birmingham's victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final in the traditional fashion Credit: Action Images/Lee Smith After a knee injury and a subsequent blood poisoning from the surgery to treat it, Johnson is happy to be back playing the game he loves. “I’m not going to sit here and think I’ve had a failed career,” he says. “Every player wants to reach the Premier League and play for their country, I did one of them and got very close to the other.” Calm and philosophical, he seems every inch the elder statesmen and you can easily imagine him coaching. “I’m not too proud to go down the divisions but I probably wouldn’t drop any further, unless there was a player-coach role. I can’t see myself doing pub football. “There are some horrible people out there, who want to bad mouth you and write nonsense on social media. But have they been a footballer? No they haven’t. “My career, my stats, and what I’ve won speak for themselves. Wikipedia it, then write me something on social media.”
Bromley FC is a proud old club, but not a successful one. Dave Roberts’ book The Bromley Boys chronicles the author following the team in the 1960s, when it had an authentic claim to being the worst in the country. The town it represents has a higher population than Crewe, Shrewsbury and Accrington but has never hosted the league football expected in those places. Instead, Bromley have just completed a third season of steady improvement in the National League, the highest level the club have ever reached. They have visited Wembley once, for the final of the old FA Amateur Cup in 1949 for a 1-0 win over Romford in front of 96,000. They return on Sunday for the FA Trophy final and have a player to call on who has already played three times under the arch, seeking a redemptive coda to a varied career. Centre-back Roger Johnson was part of the Birmingham City side who beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, and with Cardiff when they lost the FA Cup final to Portsmouth in 2008 but beat Barnsley in the semi at Wembley. “Everyone says ‘just try and relax and enjoy the day’ but it’s very stressful,” he says. “The anxiety, getting there, the build-up. I’m sure once we’re out there and the whistle blows we’ll be fine.” Johnson, 35, looks remarkably lean as we talk after a video analysis session at Bromley’s Hayes Lane home. An armful of tattoos indicates his tour of duty in the modern Premier League, where he shone at Birmingham, endured a tougher spell at Wolves and turned out four times for West Ham as recently as 2014. The Wembley opponents are Brackley Town from the tier below and while Bromley have sold an impressive 20,000 tickets the stadium will still be sparsely occupied. Nevertheless, Johnson puts the game on a par with his most notable previous visit. “Winning on Sunday would mean as much as the Birmingham win,” he says. “Yeah it’s not an 89,000 sell-out against an Arsenal team with Robin van Persie in it who beat Barcelona nine days before, but we’re we’re there on merit.” Surprisingly heartfelt words from a man who came close to the England squad while with Birmingham. “I got six England call-ups for the 30-man squad, but nobody got injured so I didn’t make the 23,” he says. It was a rapid ascension after a long apprenticeship at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made his debut at 17. Cardiff eventually took a gamble on him in 2006 before Johnson stepped up to the Premier League with Birmingham. That solid side finished ninth in his first season but were relegated three months after their Wembley win. Johnson joined Bromley after 18 months at Charlton Athletic Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph A move to Wolves followed to prolong his top-flight career but little went to plan. He strongly disputes stories he once arrived at training worse for wear from the night before, but addresses his time at Molineux with candour. “I blame myself,” he says. “I had a dip in form, in a team of people that had a dip in form. I was blocking shots and it was going in off me, I was making stupid errors that I never make. “A regret is taking the captaincy when it was offered to me. It made my signing even bigger because I was the team captain and if things are going wrong the skipper has to answer for it. “It was hard to dig people out and have an opinion on what was going wrong, because I was one of the things that wasn’t working.” Loans to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham took him away from the West Midlands before two spells at Charlton, either side of a sojourn in India with Pune City and unlikely team-mates Adrian Mutu and Didier Zokora. “I’d never choose to go to that side of the world personally, but I’ve seen the whole of India now. Goa was good, but the north-east was tough. There was no phone signal. Some of the flights were very dodgy, but it’s a tick in a box.” A far cry from Bromley’s Hayes Lane, surely one of the country’s only grounds which is approached via a road next to a field of grazing horses. Johnson celebrates Birmingham's victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final in the traditional fashion Credit: Action Images/Lee Smith After a knee injury and a subsequent blood poisoning from the surgery to treat it, Johnson is happy to be back playing the game he loves. “I’m not going to sit here and think I’ve had a failed career,” he says. “Every player wants to reach the Premier League and play for their country, I did one of them and got very close to the other.” Calm and philosophical, he seems every inch the elder statesmen and you can easily imagine him coaching. “I’m not too proud to go down the divisions but I probably wouldn’t drop any further, unless there was a player-coach role. I can’t see myself doing pub football. “There are some horrible people out there, who want to bad mouth you and write nonsense on social media. But have they been a footballer? No they haven’t. “My career, my stats, and what I’ve won speak for themselves. Wikipedia it, then write me something on social media.”
Roger Johnson returns for another shot at Wembley
Bromley FC is a proud old club, but not a successful one. Dave Roberts’ book The Bromley Boys chronicles the author following the team in the 1960s, when it had an authentic claim to being the worst in the country. The town it represents has a higher population than Crewe, Shrewsbury and Accrington but has never hosted the league football expected in those places. Instead, Bromley have just completed a third season of steady improvement in the National League, the highest level the club have ever reached. They have visited Wembley once, for the final of the old FA Amateur Cup in 1949 for a 1-0 win over Romford in front of 96,000. They return on Sunday for the FA Trophy final and have a player to call on who has already played three times under the arch, seeking a redemptive coda to a varied career. Centre-back Roger Johnson was part of the Birmingham City side who beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, and with Cardiff when they lost the FA Cup final to Portsmouth in 2008 but beat Barnsley in the semi at Wembley. “Everyone says ‘just try and relax and enjoy the day’ but it’s very stressful,” he says. “The anxiety, getting there, the build-up. I’m sure once we’re out there and the whistle blows we’ll be fine.” Johnson, 35, looks remarkably lean as we talk after a video analysis session at Bromley’s Hayes Lane home. An armful of tattoos indicates his tour of duty in the modern Premier League, where he shone at Birmingham, endured a tougher spell at Wolves and turned out four times for West Ham as recently as 2014. The Wembley opponents are Brackley Town from the tier below and while Bromley have sold an impressive 20,000 tickets the stadium will still be sparsely occupied. Nevertheless, Johnson puts the game on a par with his most notable previous visit. “Winning on Sunday would mean as much as the Birmingham win,” he says. “Yeah it’s not an 89,000 sell-out against an Arsenal team with Robin van Persie in it who beat Barcelona nine days before, but we’re we’re there on merit.” Surprisingly heartfelt words from a man who came close to the England squad while with Birmingham. “I got six England call-ups for the 30-man squad, but nobody got injured so I didn’t make the 23,” he says. It was a rapid ascension after a long apprenticeship at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made his debut at 17. Cardiff eventually took a gamble on him in 2006 before Johnson stepped up to the Premier League with Birmingham. That solid side finished ninth in his first season but were relegated three months after their Wembley win. Johnson joined Bromley after 18 months at Charlton Athletic Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph A move to Wolves followed to prolong his top-flight career but little went to plan. He strongly disputes stories he once arrived at training worse for wear from the night before, but addresses his time at Molineux with candour. “I blame myself,” he says. “I had a dip in form, in a team of people that had a dip in form. I was blocking shots and it was going in off me, I was making stupid errors that I never make. “A regret is taking the captaincy when it was offered to me. It made my signing even bigger because I was the team captain and if things are going wrong the skipper has to answer for it. “It was hard to dig people out and have an opinion on what was going wrong, because I was one of the things that wasn’t working.” Loans to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham took him away from the West Midlands before two spells at Charlton, either side of a sojourn in India with Pune City and unlikely team-mates Adrian Mutu and Didier Zokora. “I’d never choose to go to that side of the world personally, but I’ve seen the whole of India now. Goa was good, but the north-east was tough. There was no phone signal. Some of the flights were very dodgy, but it’s a tick in a box.” A far cry from Bromley’s Hayes Lane, surely one of the country’s only grounds which is approached via a road next to a field of grazing horses. Johnson celebrates Birmingham's victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final in the traditional fashion Credit: Action Images/Lee Smith After a knee injury and a subsequent blood poisoning from the surgery to treat it, Johnson is happy to be back playing the game he loves. “I’m not going to sit here and think I’ve had a failed career,” he says. “Every player wants to reach the Premier League and play for their country, I did one of them and got very close to the other.” Calm and philosophical, he seems every inch the elder statesmen and you can easily imagine him coaching. “I’m not too proud to go down the divisions but I probably wouldn’t drop any further, unless there was a player-coach role. I can’t see myself doing pub football. “There are some horrible people out there, who want to bad mouth you and write nonsense on social media. But have they been a footballer? No they haven’t. “My career, my stats, and what I’ve won speak for themselves. Wikipedia it, then write me something on social media.”
Bromley FC is a proud old club, but not a successful one. Dave Roberts’ book The Bromley Boys chronicles the author following the team in the 1960s, when it had an authentic claim to being the worst in the country. The town it represents has a higher population than Crewe, Shrewsbury and Accrington but has never hosted the league football expected in those places. Instead, Bromley have just completed a third season of steady improvement in the National League, the highest level the club have ever reached. They have visited Wembley once, for the final of the old FA Amateur Cup in 1949 for a 1-0 win over Romford in front of 96,000. They return on Sunday for the FA Trophy final and have a player to call on who has already played three times under the arch, seeking a redemptive coda to a varied career. Centre-back Roger Johnson was part of the Birmingham City side who beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, and with Cardiff when they lost the FA Cup final to Portsmouth in 2008 but beat Barnsley in the semi at Wembley. “Everyone says ‘just try and relax and enjoy the day’ but it’s very stressful,” he says. “The anxiety, getting there, the build-up. I’m sure once we’re out there and the whistle blows we’ll be fine.” Johnson, 35, looks remarkably lean as we talk after a video analysis session at Bromley’s Hayes Lane home. An armful of tattoos indicates his tour of duty in the modern Premier League, where he shone at Birmingham, endured a tougher spell at Wolves and turned out four times for West Ham as recently as 2014. The Wembley opponents are Brackley Town from the tier below and while Bromley have sold an impressive 20,000 tickets the stadium will still be sparsely occupied. Nevertheless, Johnson puts the game on a par with his most notable previous visit. “Winning on Sunday would mean as much as the Birmingham win,” he says. “Yeah it’s not an 89,000 sell-out against an Arsenal team with Robin van Persie in it who beat Barcelona nine days before, but we’re we’re there on merit.” Surprisingly heartfelt words from a man who came close to the England squad while with Birmingham. “I got six England call-ups for the 30-man squad, but nobody got injured so I didn’t make the 23,” he says. It was a rapid ascension after a long apprenticeship at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made his debut at 17. Cardiff eventually took a gamble on him in 2006 before Johnson stepped up to the Premier League with Birmingham. That solid side finished ninth in his first season but were relegated three months after their Wembley win. Johnson joined Bromley after 18 months at Charlton Athletic Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph A move to Wolves followed to prolong his top-flight career but little went to plan. He strongly disputes stories he once arrived at training worse for wear from the night before, but addresses his time at Molineux with candour. “I blame myself,” he says. “I had a dip in form, in a team of people that had a dip in form. I was blocking shots and it was going in off me, I was making stupid errors that I never make. “A regret is taking the captaincy when it was offered to me. It made my signing even bigger because I was the team captain and if things are going wrong the skipper has to answer for it. “It was hard to dig people out and have an opinion on what was going wrong, because I was one of the things that wasn’t working.” Loans to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham took him away from the West Midlands before two spells at Charlton, either side of a sojourn in India with Pune City and unlikely team-mates Adrian Mutu and Didier Zokora. “I’d never choose to go to that side of the world personally, but I’ve seen the whole of India now. Goa was good, but the north-east was tough. There was no phone signal. Some of the flights were very dodgy, but it’s a tick in a box.” A far cry from Bromley’s Hayes Lane, surely one of the country’s only grounds which is approached via a road next to a field of grazing horses. Johnson celebrates Birmingham's victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final in the traditional fashion Credit: Action Images/Lee Smith After a knee injury and a subsequent blood poisoning from the surgery to treat it, Johnson is happy to be back playing the game he loves. “I’m not going to sit here and think I’ve had a failed career,” he says. “Every player wants to reach the Premier League and play for their country, I did one of them and got very close to the other.” Calm and philosophical, he seems every inch the elder statesmen and you can easily imagine him coaching. “I’m not too proud to go down the divisions but I probably wouldn’t drop any further, unless there was a player-coach role. I can’t see myself doing pub football. “There are some horrible people out there, who want to bad mouth you and write nonsense on social media. But have they been a footballer? No they haven’t. “My career, my stats, and what I’ve won speak for themselves. Wikipedia it, then write me something on social media.”
Roger Johnson returns for another shot at Wembley
Bromley FC is a proud old club, but not a successful one. Dave Roberts’ book The Bromley Boys chronicles the author following the team in the 1960s, when it had an authentic claim to being the worst in the country. The town it represents has a higher population than Crewe, Shrewsbury and Accrington but has never hosted the league football expected in those places. Instead, Bromley have just completed a third season of steady improvement in the National League, the highest level the club have ever reached. They have visited Wembley once, for the final of the old FA Amateur Cup in 1949 for a 1-0 win over Romford in front of 96,000. They return on Sunday for the FA Trophy final and have a player to call on who has already played three times under the arch, seeking a redemptive coda to a varied career. Centre-back Roger Johnson was part of the Birmingham City side who beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, and with Cardiff when they lost the FA Cup final to Portsmouth in 2008 but beat Barnsley in the semi at Wembley. “Everyone says ‘just try and relax and enjoy the day’ but it’s very stressful,” he says. “The anxiety, getting there, the build-up. I’m sure once we’re out there and the whistle blows we’ll be fine.” Johnson, 35, looks remarkably lean as we talk after a video analysis session at Bromley’s Hayes Lane home. An armful of tattoos indicates his tour of duty in the modern Premier League, where he shone at Birmingham, endured a tougher spell at Wolves and turned out four times for West Ham as recently as 2014. The Wembley opponents are Brackley Town from the tier below and while Bromley have sold an impressive 20,000 tickets the stadium will still be sparsely occupied. Nevertheless, Johnson puts the game on a par with his most notable previous visit. “Winning on Sunday would mean as much as the Birmingham win,” he says. “Yeah it’s not an 89,000 sell-out against an Arsenal team with Robin van Persie in it who beat Barcelona nine days before, but we’re we’re there on merit.” Surprisingly heartfelt words from a man who came close to the England squad while with Birmingham. “I got six England call-ups for the 30-man squad, but nobody got injured so I didn’t make the 23,” he says. It was a rapid ascension after a long apprenticeship at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made his debut at 17. Cardiff eventually took a gamble on him in 2006 before Johnson stepped up to the Premier League with Birmingham. That solid side finished ninth in his first season but were relegated three months after their Wembley win. Johnson joined Bromley after 18 months at Charlton Athletic Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph A move to Wolves followed to prolong his top-flight career but little went to plan. He strongly disputes stories he once arrived at training worse for wear from the night before, but addresses his time at Molineux with candour. “I blame myself,” he says. “I had a dip in form, in a team of people that had a dip in form. I was blocking shots and it was going in off me, I was making stupid errors that I never make. “A regret is taking the captaincy when it was offered to me. It made my signing even bigger because I was the team captain and if things are going wrong the skipper has to answer for it. “It was hard to dig people out and have an opinion on what was going wrong, because I was one of the things that wasn’t working.” Loans to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham took him away from the West Midlands before two spells at Charlton, either side of a sojourn in India with Pune City and unlikely team-mates Adrian Mutu and Didier Zokora. “I’d never choose to go to that side of the world personally, but I’ve seen the whole of India now. Goa was good, but the north-east was tough. There was no phone signal. Some of the flights were very dodgy, but it’s a tick in a box.” A far cry from Bromley’s Hayes Lane, surely one of the country’s only grounds which is approached via a road next to a field of grazing horses. Johnson celebrates Birmingham's victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final in the traditional fashion Credit: Action Images/Lee Smith After a knee injury and a subsequent blood poisoning from the surgery to treat it, Johnson is happy to be back playing the game he loves. “I’m not going to sit here and think I’ve had a failed career,” he says. “Every player wants to reach the Premier League and play for their country, I did one of them and got very close to the other.” Calm and philosophical, he seems every inch the elder statesmen and you can easily imagine him coaching. “I’m not too proud to go down the divisions but I probably wouldn’t drop any further, unless there was a player-coach role. I can’t see myself doing pub football. “There are some horrible people out there, who want to bad mouth you and write nonsense on social media. But have they been a footballer? No they haven’t. “My career, my stats, and what I’ve won speak for themselves. Wikipedia it, then write me something on social media.”
Manager A first managerial change in 22 years will make this a momentous summer at Arsenal. The desire is to both bring an injection of new ideas and dynamism whilst also preserving the regularly repeated “values” that Arsenal seek to exemplify. That means still playing an expansive brand of football, giving young players their chance and having the personality to best represent Arsenal’s image and brand globally. Arsenal are committed to a full recruitment process but an appointment is certainly expected by the time the World Cup starts, and probably even sooner. The achievements of Max Allegri at Juventus can hardly be overlooked but he has indicated a desire to stay for one more year in Italy, meaning Arsenal may well go down the path of trying a less experienced option. Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira and Julian Nagelsmann are among the outstanding younger candidates but the club do not intend to rush what is a new experience - certainly in the context of Arsenal - for most of the key decision-makers on the board. The simple target for the next manager will be Champions League football in 2019-20 after falling out of Europe’s elite club competition for the past two seasons. Arsene Wenger replacement: Definitive guide to the runners and riders for the new Arsenal manager New signings The summer transfer budget will be around £50 million before player sales, leaving a big decision over whether the new manager wants to primarily focus on improving the current group or generate funds by selling some of the most valuable players. The current transfer priority is at centre-back. Per Mertesacker is retiring and Laurent Koscielny is not expected back until at least December following his Achilles tendon rupture. Shkodran Mustafi has been inconsistent since arriving as the club’s record defensive signing two years ago while the development of the young centre-backs - Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Konstantinos Mavropanos - has been mixed and may involve some loan football. Kalidou Koulibaly is among those to have been watched. Central midfield is also an area of focus for Sven Mislintat’s recruitment team. Granit Xhaka is not a natural holding midfielder and neither are Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey. Mohamed Elneny has just signed a new contract, but is viewed more as a squad player, and there are high hopes for Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Goalkeepers Petr Cech and David Ospina have also endured mixed seasons and this is another position that is under review. The most settled situation is in attack where Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all on long contracts. Premier League club-by-club review Player sales The most interesting situation concerns Ramsey. He is out of contract next summer and has so far failed to reach any sort of agreement on an extended deal. Ramsey will probably now wait to discover the identity of the next manager but, after the distraction last season of Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal will surely sell him this summer if he does not commit. Danny Welbeck and Cech are also out of contract next year and will hold talks with the club. Wilshere does now seem likely to extend his contract after being offered a new, improved deal. Decisions must also be made on other key squad members and the new manager may well seek to generate funds by making sales. As well as Ramsey, Hector Bellerin would likely attract big offers and Arsenal may also be tempted to sell either Welbeck or Lacazette following the January arrival of Aubameyang. Arsene Wenger’s advice to the next man is that he does now have the basis of a squad that can challenge for the Premier League title, if the right defensive additions can be made. Arsenal do also face an emotionally difficult decision over midfielder Santi Cazorla, with the extent of his Achilles and ankle problems meaning that he is unlikely to be offered a new contract. Arsenal then and now Youth development and loans Mertesacker will take over this summer as Arsenal’s academy manager and one of the first focuses for the club is an ongoing internal investigation into Under-23 head coach Steven Gatting, and his assistant Carl Laraman, over accusations from some players of bullying. It had been an excellent season on the pitch for the U23 team and, across the age groups, there has been renewed optimism that Arsenal do again have an emerging batch of future first-team players. Maitland-Niles has figured most regularly this season of the new youngsters but Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Matt Macey, Joe Willock and Josh Dasilva are all well regarded and will hope for further opportunity under the new manager. Big decisions must also be made about a lengthy list of players who have been away on loan. Jeff-Reine Adelaide has been at Angers in France, Carl Jenkinson at Birmingham City, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez at Getafe, Joel Campbell at Real Betis, Lucas Perez at Deportivo La Coruna, Chuba Akpom at Sint Truidense, Cohen Bramall at Birmingham and Ben Sheaf at Stevenage. There has been little to suggest that any of these players will impact in any significant way next season on the first team. Everything furious TV pundits have said about Arsenal this season Club infrastructure More big changes are expected behind the scenes at Arsenal. Wenger’s old coaching staff are largely expected to depart, although Steve Bould and Jens Lehmann will probably be given the opportunity to continue. At boardroom level, Josh Kroenke continues to play an increasingly influential role and the unpopularity of chairman Sir Chips Keswick was evident when he came on to the pitch on the final day of the season. Arsenal will hope that a change in manager can improve relations between fans and the club’s hierarchy. Investment in the training facilities at both London Colney and Hale End continue and, with no pre-season Emirates Cup this summer, there will also be some major renovation work at the Emirates Stadium to bring the capacity back up to 60,600. It has been reduced over recent seasons to help improve disabled facilities, and to meet safety requirements, but the club will be adding 780 extra seats at Club Level, which itself will be upgraded and refurbished. The first changes will be to the Dial Square suite.
Arsenal's summer dossier: Transfer targets, budget and youth prospects - our look ahead to pre-season
Manager A first managerial change in 22 years will make this a momentous summer at Arsenal. The desire is to both bring an injection of new ideas and dynamism whilst also preserving the regularly repeated “values” that Arsenal seek to exemplify. That means still playing an expansive brand of football, giving young players their chance and having the personality to best represent Arsenal’s image and brand globally. Arsenal are committed to a full recruitment process but an appointment is certainly expected by the time the World Cup starts, and probably even sooner. The achievements of Max Allegri at Juventus can hardly be overlooked but he has indicated a desire to stay for one more year in Italy, meaning Arsenal may well go down the path of trying a less experienced option. Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira and Julian Nagelsmann are among the outstanding younger candidates but the club do not intend to rush what is a new experience - certainly in the context of Arsenal - for most of the key decision-makers on the board. The simple target for the next manager will be Champions League football in 2019-20 after falling out of Europe’s elite club competition for the past two seasons. Arsene Wenger replacement: Definitive guide to the runners and riders for the new Arsenal manager New signings The summer transfer budget will be around £50 million before player sales, leaving a big decision over whether the new manager wants to primarily focus on improving the current group or generate funds by selling some of the most valuable players. The current transfer priority is at centre-back. Per Mertesacker is retiring and Laurent Koscielny is not expected back until at least December following his Achilles tendon rupture. Shkodran Mustafi has been inconsistent since arriving as the club’s record defensive signing two years ago while the development of the young centre-backs - Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Konstantinos Mavropanos - has been mixed and may involve some loan football. Kalidou Koulibaly is among those to have been watched. Central midfield is also an area of focus for Sven Mislintat’s recruitment team. Granit Xhaka is not a natural holding midfielder and neither are Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey. Mohamed Elneny has just signed a new contract, but is viewed more as a squad player, and there are high hopes for Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Goalkeepers Petr Cech and David Ospina have also endured mixed seasons and this is another position that is under review. The most settled situation is in attack where Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all on long contracts. Premier League club-by-club review Player sales The most interesting situation concerns Ramsey. He is out of contract next summer and has so far failed to reach any sort of agreement on an extended deal. Ramsey will probably now wait to discover the identity of the next manager but, after the distraction last season of Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal will surely sell him this summer if he does not commit. Danny Welbeck and Cech are also out of contract next year and will hold talks with the club. Wilshere does now seem likely to extend his contract after being offered a new, improved deal. Decisions must also be made on other key squad members and the new manager may well seek to generate funds by making sales. As well as Ramsey, Hector Bellerin would likely attract big offers and Arsenal may also be tempted to sell either Welbeck or Lacazette following the January arrival of Aubameyang. Arsene Wenger’s advice to the next man is that he does now have the basis of a squad that can challenge for the Premier League title, if the right defensive additions can be made. Arsenal do also face an emotionally difficult decision over midfielder Santi Cazorla, with the extent of his Achilles and ankle problems meaning that he is unlikely to be offered a new contract. Arsenal then and now Youth development and loans Mertesacker will take over this summer as Arsenal’s academy manager and one of the first focuses for the club is an ongoing internal investigation into Under-23 head coach Steven Gatting, and his assistant Carl Laraman, over accusations from some players of bullying. It had been an excellent season on the pitch for the U23 team and, across the age groups, there has been renewed optimism that Arsenal do again have an emerging batch of future first-team players. Maitland-Niles has figured most regularly this season of the new youngsters but Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Matt Macey, Joe Willock and Josh Dasilva are all well regarded and will hope for further opportunity under the new manager. Big decisions must also be made about a lengthy list of players who have been away on loan. Jeff-Reine Adelaide has been at Angers in France, Carl Jenkinson at Birmingham City, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez at Getafe, Joel Campbell at Real Betis, Lucas Perez at Deportivo La Coruna, Chuba Akpom at Sint Truidense, Cohen Bramall at Birmingham and Ben Sheaf at Stevenage. There has been little to suggest that any of these players will impact in any significant way next season on the first team. Everything furious TV pundits have said about Arsenal this season Club infrastructure More big changes are expected behind the scenes at Arsenal. Wenger’s old coaching staff are largely expected to depart, although Steve Bould and Jens Lehmann will probably be given the opportunity to continue. At boardroom level, Josh Kroenke continues to play an increasingly influential role and the unpopularity of chairman Sir Chips Keswick was evident when he came on to the pitch on the final day of the season. Arsenal will hope that a change in manager can improve relations between fans and the club’s hierarchy. Investment in the training facilities at both London Colney and Hale End continue and, with no pre-season Emirates Cup this summer, there will also be some major renovation work at the Emirates Stadium to bring the capacity back up to 60,600. It has been reduced over recent seasons to help improve disabled facilities, and to meet safety requirements, but the club will be adding 780 extra seats at Club Level, which itself will be upgraded and refurbished. The first changes will be to the Dial Square suite.
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks at Birmingham City University in Birmingham, Britain, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks at Birmingham City University in Birmingham
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks at Birmingham City University in Birmingham, Britain, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples
They rose to applaud Archie Gemmill at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association annual dinner in Glasgow on Sunday night, when he was the recipient of the organisation’s first ever lifetime achievement award. The standing ovation that marked the high-water mark of Gemmill’s career, however, was accorded him on June 11, 1978, in Mendoza, Argentina. That was when Gemmill produced one of the greatest goals seen in the World Cup, in the improbable circumstances of a previously farcical Scotland campaign, in the Scots’ final group game and against a Dutch side who finished runners up at the World Cup. Gemmill’s contribution became so totemic that it has featured in the movie ‘Trainspotting’ and in a tribute dance by English National Ballet. With Scotland needing to win by three goals to qualify for the next stage, after potentially ruinous setbacks against Peru and Iran, they led 2-1 midway through the second half, at which point the ball broke to Gemmill just outside the Dutch penalty area. He skipped past Wim Jansen – later to become manager of Celtic – avoided a robust challenge by Jan Poortvliet, nutmegged the usually imperturbable Ruud Krol and completed his slalom run with a perfect chip over the advancing goalkeeper, Jan Jongbloed. As Gemmill turned to celebrate, the entire global contingent in the press and broadcast seats stood to salute his wizardry. Sunday’s accolade acknowledged a playing career which included 43 caps and eight goals for Scotland and a club career that saw him perform in midfield for St Mirren, Preston, Derby County (twice), Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic plus management stints with Rotherham United and Scotland under 19s but - as the 71-year-old acknowledged, with a mixture of pride and resignation – it always comes back to that goal in Mendoza, even though the Dutch scored again to knock the Scots out. Gemmill before a match against Brazil in 1977 Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK “Whenever a World Cup comes around people want to ask about the goal,” Gemmill said. “It was fantastic at the time, even if it didn't help us a great deal in the tournament itself, but over the years, it's given a few people some joy – and a bit of hope, I suppose for the future. “It was a special moment for me. I’d like to think it'll be remembered long after I’m gone. I'm not the type to watch it. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw the goal. “As a player, I always thought my job was just to play as well as I possibly could. If anything came of it, great. If not, you had to try even harder next time, but even people at home in Derby still ask me about the goal and, the odd time I come back up to Scotland, it's all anyone wants to talk about – nothing else.” Credit: GETTY CREATIVE A decade elapsed between Gemmill’s international debut against Belgium in 1971 and his final appearance, against Northern Ireland. He might have reached the 50-cap mark, but for the fact that he was never in favour with a certain Scotland manager. “Before Tommy Docherty took over, I was well in the squad, but he bombed me out totally,” Gemmill said. “We played England in 1972 and I was opposite Alan Ball, who was getting the better of me. “Docherty took me off just into the second half and that was me. I was never in another squad for three years. Docherty also came to Derby and got rid of me from there as well. “Similarly, I was Scotland captain when Ally MacLeod took over and he gave it to someone else, but I always came back, because you want to play for your country as many times as you can. “I got 43 caps but in those three years I was out, I could have got to 50 and into the Hall of Fame. It would have been a landmark for me. “Players, probably with less ability, get to 50 caps now because there are so many games, but you have to live for your time. Throughout my football career, I always had to try and prove a point to someone. I never coasted. “Brian Clough got rid of me at Derby and when I went to Birmingham I was bombed out there as well, but the year Derby got rid of me I was voted their player of their year. Then, the year I left Birmingham, I was their player of the year as well. “When I started out, I was ever so tiny. I'm not that much bigger now. For Scotland U15's I played in a trial match and scored a couple of goals, but the squad was named to play England at Wembley and I wasn't even in it because I was too wee. I was told I’d never make it because of my size, but I had a bit of skill and tenacity about me.” And what of the prospects now for Scotland, managed by Gemmill’s former international team mate, Alex McLeish? “Gordon Strachan was probably only a matter of minutes away from getting us to the World Cup play-offs,” said Gemmill. “It looks like one or two talented youngsters are starting to come through - we just have to hope that these kids fulfil their promise in a Scotland jersey.” Archie Gemmill was speaking as the winner of the SFWA's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Scottish Power.
Archie Gemmill says he'll never be allowed to forget career-defining World Cup wonder goal
They rose to applaud Archie Gemmill at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association annual dinner in Glasgow on Sunday night, when he was the recipient of the organisation’s first ever lifetime achievement award. The standing ovation that marked the high-water mark of Gemmill’s career, however, was accorded him on June 11, 1978, in Mendoza, Argentina. That was when Gemmill produced one of the greatest goals seen in the World Cup, in the improbable circumstances of a previously farcical Scotland campaign, in the Scots’ final group game and against a Dutch side who finished runners up at the World Cup. Gemmill’s contribution became so totemic that it has featured in the movie ‘Trainspotting’ and in a tribute dance by English National Ballet. With Scotland needing to win by three goals to qualify for the next stage, after potentially ruinous setbacks against Peru and Iran, they led 2-1 midway through the second half, at which point the ball broke to Gemmill just outside the Dutch penalty area. He skipped past Wim Jansen – later to become manager of Celtic – avoided a robust challenge by Jan Poortvliet, nutmegged the usually imperturbable Ruud Krol and completed his slalom run with a perfect chip over the advancing goalkeeper, Jan Jongbloed. As Gemmill turned to celebrate, the entire global contingent in the press and broadcast seats stood to salute his wizardry. Sunday’s accolade acknowledged a playing career which included 43 caps and eight goals for Scotland and a club career that saw him perform in midfield for St Mirren, Preston, Derby County (twice), Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic plus management stints with Rotherham United and Scotland under 19s but - as the 71-year-old acknowledged, with a mixture of pride and resignation – it always comes back to that goal in Mendoza, even though the Dutch scored again to knock the Scots out. Gemmill before a match against Brazil in 1977 Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK “Whenever a World Cup comes around people want to ask about the goal,” Gemmill said. “It was fantastic at the time, even if it didn't help us a great deal in the tournament itself, but over the years, it's given a few people some joy – and a bit of hope, I suppose for the future. “It was a special moment for me. I’d like to think it'll be remembered long after I’m gone. I'm not the type to watch it. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw the goal. “As a player, I always thought my job was just to play as well as I possibly could. If anything came of it, great. If not, you had to try even harder next time, but even people at home in Derby still ask me about the goal and, the odd time I come back up to Scotland, it's all anyone wants to talk about – nothing else.” Credit: GETTY CREATIVE A decade elapsed between Gemmill’s international debut against Belgium in 1971 and his final appearance, against Northern Ireland. He might have reached the 50-cap mark, but for the fact that he was never in favour with a certain Scotland manager. “Before Tommy Docherty took over, I was well in the squad, but he bombed me out totally,” Gemmill said. “We played England in 1972 and I was opposite Alan Ball, who was getting the better of me. “Docherty took me off just into the second half and that was me. I was never in another squad for three years. Docherty also came to Derby and got rid of me from there as well. “Similarly, I was Scotland captain when Ally MacLeod took over and he gave it to someone else, but I always came back, because you want to play for your country as many times as you can. “I got 43 caps but in those three years I was out, I could have got to 50 and into the Hall of Fame. It would have been a landmark for me. “Players, probably with less ability, get to 50 caps now because there are so many games, but you have to live for your time. Throughout my football career, I always had to try and prove a point to someone. I never coasted. “Brian Clough got rid of me at Derby and when I went to Birmingham I was bombed out there as well, but the year Derby got rid of me I was voted their player of their year. Then, the year I left Birmingham, I was their player of the year as well. “When I started out, I was ever so tiny. I'm not that much bigger now. For Scotland U15's I played in a trial match and scored a couple of goals, but the squad was named to play England at Wembley and I wasn't even in it because I was too wee. I was told I’d never make it because of my size, but I had a bit of skill and tenacity about me.” And what of the prospects now for Scotland, managed by Gemmill’s former international team mate, Alex McLeish? “Gordon Strachan was probably only a matter of minutes away from getting us to the World Cup play-offs,” said Gemmill. “It looks like one or two talented youngsters are starting to come through - we just have to hope that these kids fulfil their promise in a Scotland jersey.” Archie Gemmill was speaking as the winner of the SFWA's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Scottish Power.
They rose to applaud Archie Gemmill at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association annual dinner in Glasgow on Sunday night, when he was the recipient of the organisation’s first ever lifetime achievement award. The standing ovation that marked the high-water mark of Gemmill’s career, however, was accorded him on June 11, 1978, in Mendoza, Argentina. That was when Gemmill produced one of the greatest goals seen in the World Cup, in the improbable circumstances of a previously farcical Scotland campaign, in the Scots’ final group game and against a Dutch side who finished runners up at the World Cup. Gemmill’s contribution became so totemic that it has featured in the movie ‘Trainspotting’ and in a tribute dance by English National Ballet. With Scotland needing to win by three goals to qualify for the next stage, after potentially ruinous setbacks against Peru and Iran, they led 2-1 midway through the second half, at which point the ball broke to Gemmill just outside the Dutch penalty area. He skipped past Wim Jansen – later to become manager of Celtic – avoided a robust challenge by Jan Poortvliet, nutmegged the usually imperturbable Ruud Krol and completed his slalom run with a perfect chip over the advancing goalkeeper, Jan Jongbloed. As Gemmill turned to celebrate, the entire global contingent in the press and broadcast seats stood to salute his wizardry. Sunday’s accolade acknowledged a playing career which included 43 caps and eight goals for Scotland and a club career that saw him perform in midfield for St Mirren, Preston, Derby County (twice), Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic plus management stints with Rotherham United and Scotland under 19s but - as the 71-year-old acknowledged, with a mixture of pride and resignation – it always comes back to that goal in Mendoza, even though the Dutch scored again to knock the Scots out. Gemmill before a match against Brazil in 1977 Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK “Whenever a World Cup comes around people want to ask about the goal,” Gemmill said. “It was fantastic at the time, even if it didn't help us a great deal in the tournament itself, but over the years, it's given a few people some joy – and a bit of hope, I suppose for the future. “It was a special moment for me. I’d like to think it'll be remembered long after I’m gone. I'm not the type to watch it. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw the goal. “As a player, I always thought my job was just to play as well as I possibly could. If anything came of it, great. If not, you had to try even harder next time, but even people at home in Derby still ask me about the goal and, the odd time I come back up to Scotland, it's all anyone wants to talk about – nothing else.” Credit: GETTY CREATIVE A decade elapsed between Gemmill’s international debut against Belgium in 1971 and his final appearance, against Northern Ireland. He might have reached the 50-cap mark, but for the fact that he was never in favour with a certain Scotland manager. “Before Tommy Docherty took over, I was well in the squad, but he bombed me out totally,” Gemmill said. “We played England in 1972 and I was opposite Alan Ball, who was getting the better of me. “Docherty took me off just into the second half and that was me. I was never in another squad for three years. Docherty also came to Derby and got rid of me from there as well. “Similarly, I was Scotland captain when Ally MacLeod took over and he gave it to someone else, but I always came back, because you want to play for your country as many times as you can. “I got 43 caps but in those three years I was out, I could have got to 50 and into the Hall of Fame. It would have been a landmark for me. “Players, probably with less ability, get to 50 caps now because there are so many games, but you have to live for your time. Throughout my football career, I always had to try and prove a point to someone. I never coasted. “Brian Clough got rid of me at Derby and when I went to Birmingham I was bombed out there as well, but the year Derby got rid of me I was voted their player of their year. Then, the year I left Birmingham, I was their player of the year as well. “When I started out, I was ever so tiny. I'm not that much bigger now. For Scotland U15's I played in a trial match and scored a couple of goals, but the squad was named to play England at Wembley and I wasn't even in it because I was too wee. I was told I’d never make it because of my size, but I had a bit of skill and tenacity about me.” And what of the prospects now for Scotland, managed by Gemmill’s former international team mate, Alex McLeish? “Gordon Strachan was probably only a matter of minutes away from getting us to the World Cup play-offs,” said Gemmill. “It looks like one or two talented youngsters are starting to come through - we just have to hope that these kids fulfil their promise in a Scotland jersey.” Archie Gemmill was speaking as the winner of the SFWA's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Scottish Power.
Archie Gemmill says he'll never be allowed to forget career-defining World Cup wonder goal
They rose to applaud Archie Gemmill at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association annual dinner in Glasgow on Sunday night, when he was the recipient of the organisation’s first ever lifetime achievement award. The standing ovation that marked the high-water mark of Gemmill’s career, however, was accorded him on June 11, 1978, in Mendoza, Argentina. That was when Gemmill produced one of the greatest goals seen in the World Cup, in the improbable circumstances of a previously farcical Scotland campaign, in the Scots’ final group game and against a Dutch side who finished runners up at the World Cup. Gemmill’s contribution became so totemic that it has featured in the movie ‘Trainspotting’ and in a tribute dance by English National Ballet. With Scotland needing to win by three goals to qualify for the next stage, after potentially ruinous setbacks against Peru and Iran, they led 2-1 midway through the second half, at which point the ball broke to Gemmill just outside the Dutch penalty area. He skipped past Wim Jansen – later to become manager of Celtic – avoided a robust challenge by Jan Poortvliet, nutmegged the usually imperturbable Ruud Krol and completed his slalom run with a perfect chip over the advancing goalkeeper, Jan Jongbloed. As Gemmill turned to celebrate, the entire global contingent in the press and broadcast seats stood to salute his wizardry. Sunday’s accolade acknowledged a playing career which included 43 caps and eight goals for Scotland and a club career that saw him perform in midfield for St Mirren, Preston, Derby County (twice), Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic plus management stints with Rotherham United and Scotland under 19s but - as the 71-year-old acknowledged, with a mixture of pride and resignation – it always comes back to that goal in Mendoza, even though the Dutch scored again to knock the Scots out. Gemmill before a match against Brazil in 1977 Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK “Whenever a World Cup comes around people want to ask about the goal,” Gemmill said. “It was fantastic at the time, even if it didn't help us a great deal in the tournament itself, but over the years, it's given a few people some joy – and a bit of hope, I suppose for the future. “It was a special moment for me. I’d like to think it'll be remembered long after I’m gone. I'm not the type to watch it. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw the goal. “As a player, I always thought my job was just to play as well as I possibly could. If anything came of it, great. If not, you had to try even harder next time, but even people at home in Derby still ask me about the goal and, the odd time I come back up to Scotland, it's all anyone wants to talk about – nothing else.” Credit: GETTY CREATIVE A decade elapsed between Gemmill’s international debut against Belgium in 1971 and his final appearance, against Northern Ireland. He might have reached the 50-cap mark, but for the fact that he was never in favour with a certain Scotland manager. “Before Tommy Docherty took over, I was well in the squad, but he bombed me out totally,” Gemmill said. “We played England in 1972 and I was opposite Alan Ball, who was getting the better of me. “Docherty took me off just into the second half and that was me. I was never in another squad for three years. Docherty also came to Derby and got rid of me from there as well. “Similarly, I was Scotland captain when Ally MacLeod took over and he gave it to someone else, but I always came back, because you want to play for your country as many times as you can. “I got 43 caps but in those three years I was out, I could have got to 50 and into the Hall of Fame. It would have been a landmark for me. “Players, probably with less ability, get to 50 caps now because there are so many games, but you have to live for your time. Throughout my football career, I always had to try and prove a point to someone. I never coasted. “Brian Clough got rid of me at Derby and when I went to Birmingham I was bombed out there as well, but the year Derby got rid of me I was voted their player of their year. Then, the year I left Birmingham, I was their player of the year as well. “When I started out, I was ever so tiny. I'm not that much bigger now. For Scotland U15's I played in a trial match and scored a couple of goals, but the squad was named to play England at Wembley and I wasn't even in it because I was too wee. I was told I’d never make it because of my size, but I had a bit of skill and tenacity about me.” And what of the prospects now for Scotland, managed by Gemmill’s former international team mate, Alex McLeish? “Gordon Strachan was probably only a matter of minutes away from getting us to the World Cup play-offs,” said Gemmill. “It looks like one or two talented youngsters are starting to come through - we just have to hope that these kids fulfil their promise in a Scotland jersey.” Archie Gemmill was speaking as the winner of the SFWA's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Scottish Power.
They rose to applaud Archie Gemmill at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association annual dinner in Glasgow on Sunday night, when he was the recipient of the organisation’s first ever lifetime achievement award. The standing ovation that marked the high-water mark of Gemmill’s career, however, was accorded him on June 11, 1978, in Mendoza, Argentina. That was when Gemmill produced one of the greatest goals seen in the World Cup, in the improbable circumstances of a previously farcical Scotland campaign, in the Scots’ final group game and against a Dutch side who finished runners up at the World Cup. Gemmill’s contribution became so totemic that it has featured in the movie ‘Trainspotting’ and in a tribute dance by English National Ballet. With Scotland needing to win by three goals to qualify for the next stage, after potentially ruinous setbacks against Peru and Iran, they led 2-1 midway through the second half, at which point the ball broke to Gemmill just outside the Dutch penalty area. He skipped past Wim Jansen – later to become manager of Celtic – avoided a robust challenge by Jan Poortvliet, nutmegged the usually imperturbable Ruud Krol and completed his slalom run with a perfect chip over the advancing goalkeeper, Jan Jongbloed. As Gemmill turned to celebrate, the entire global contingent in the press and broadcast seats stood to salute his wizardry. Sunday’s accolade acknowledged a playing career which included 43 caps and eight goals for Scotland and a club career that saw him perform in midfield for St Mirren, Preston, Derby County (twice), Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic plus management stints with Rotherham United and Scotland under 19s but - as the 71-year-old acknowledged, with a mixture of pride and resignation – it always comes back to that goal in Mendoza, even though the Dutch scored again to knock the Scots out. Gemmill before a match against Brazil in 1977 Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK “Whenever a World Cup comes around people want to ask about the goal,” Gemmill said. “It was fantastic at the time, even if it didn't help us a great deal in the tournament itself, but over the years, it's given a few people some joy – and a bit of hope, I suppose for the future. “It was a special moment for me. I’d like to think it'll be remembered long after I’m gone. I'm not the type to watch it. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw the goal. “As a player, I always thought my job was just to play as well as I possibly could. If anything came of it, great. If not, you had to try even harder next time, but even people at home in Derby still ask me about the goal and, the odd time I come back up to Scotland, it's all anyone wants to talk about – nothing else.” Credit: GETTY CREATIVE A decade elapsed between Gemmill’s international debut against Belgium in 1971 and his final appearance, against Northern Ireland. He might have reached the 50-cap mark, but for the fact that he was never in favour with a certain Scotland manager. “Before Tommy Docherty took over, I was well in the squad, but he bombed me out totally,” Gemmill said. “We played England in 1972 and I was opposite Alan Ball, who was getting the better of me. “Docherty took me off just into the second half and that was me. I was never in another squad for three years. Docherty also came to Derby and got rid of me from there as well. “Similarly, I was Scotland captain when Ally MacLeod took over and he gave it to someone else, but I always came back, because you want to play for your country as many times as you can. “I got 43 caps but in those three years I was out, I could have got to 50 and into the Hall of Fame. It would have been a landmark for me. “Players, probably with less ability, get to 50 caps now because there are so many games, but you have to live for your time. Throughout my football career, I always had to try and prove a point to someone. I never coasted. “Brian Clough got rid of me at Derby and when I went to Birmingham I was bombed out there as well, but the year Derby got rid of me I was voted their player of their year. Then, the year I left Birmingham, I was their player of the year as well. “When I started out, I was ever so tiny. I'm not that much bigger now. For Scotland U15's I played in a trial match and scored a couple of goals, but the squad was named to play England at Wembley and I wasn't even in it because I was too wee. I was told I’d never make it because of my size, but I had a bit of skill and tenacity about me.” And what of the prospects now for Scotland, managed by Gemmill’s former international team mate, Alex McLeish? “Gordon Strachan was probably only a matter of minutes away from getting us to the World Cup play-offs,” said Gemmill. “It looks like one or two talented youngsters are starting to come through - we just have to hope that these kids fulfil their promise in a Scotland jersey.” Archie Gemmill was speaking as the winner of the SFWA's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Scottish Power.
Archie Gemmill says he'll never be allowed to forget career-defining World Cup wonder goal
They rose to applaud Archie Gemmill at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association annual dinner in Glasgow on Sunday night, when he was the recipient of the organisation’s first ever lifetime achievement award. The standing ovation that marked the high-water mark of Gemmill’s career, however, was accorded him on June 11, 1978, in Mendoza, Argentina. That was when Gemmill produced one of the greatest goals seen in the World Cup, in the improbable circumstances of a previously farcical Scotland campaign, in the Scots’ final group game and against a Dutch side who finished runners up at the World Cup. Gemmill’s contribution became so totemic that it has featured in the movie ‘Trainspotting’ and in a tribute dance by English National Ballet. With Scotland needing to win by three goals to qualify for the next stage, after potentially ruinous setbacks against Peru and Iran, they led 2-1 midway through the second half, at which point the ball broke to Gemmill just outside the Dutch penalty area. He skipped past Wim Jansen – later to become manager of Celtic – avoided a robust challenge by Jan Poortvliet, nutmegged the usually imperturbable Ruud Krol and completed his slalom run with a perfect chip over the advancing goalkeeper, Jan Jongbloed. As Gemmill turned to celebrate, the entire global contingent in the press and broadcast seats stood to salute his wizardry. Sunday’s accolade acknowledged a playing career which included 43 caps and eight goals for Scotland and a club career that saw him perform in midfield for St Mirren, Preston, Derby County (twice), Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic plus management stints with Rotherham United and Scotland under 19s but - as the 71-year-old acknowledged, with a mixture of pride and resignation – it always comes back to that goal in Mendoza, even though the Dutch scored again to knock the Scots out. Gemmill before a match against Brazil in 1977 Credit: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK “Whenever a World Cup comes around people want to ask about the goal,” Gemmill said. “It was fantastic at the time, even if it didn't help us a great deal in the tournament itself, but over the years, it's given a few people some joy – and a bit of hope, I suppose for the future. “It was a special moment for me. I’d like to think it'll be remembered long after I’m gone. I'm not the type to watch it. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw the goal. “As a player, I always thought my job was just to play as well as I possibly could. If anything came of it, great. If not, you had to try even harder next time, but even people at home in Derby still ask me about the goal and, the odd time I come back up to Scotland, it's all anyone wants to talk about – nothing else.” Credit: GETTY CREATIVE A decade elapsed between Gemmill’s international debut against Belgium in 1971 and his final appearance, against Northern Ireland. He might have reached the 50-cap mark, but for the fact that he was never in favour with a certain Scotland manager. “Before Tommy Docherty took over, I was well in the squad, but he bombed me out totally,” Gemmill said. “We played England in 1972 and I was opposite Alan Ball, who was getting the better of me. “Docherty took me off just into the second half and that was me. I was never in another squad for three years. Docherty also came to Derby and got rid of me from there as well. “Similarly, I was Scotland captain when Ally MacLeod took over and he gave it to someone else, but I always came back, because you want to play for your country as many times as you can. “I got 43 caps but in those three years I was out, I could have got to 50 and into the Hall of Fame. It would have been a landmark for me. “Players, probably with less ability, get to 50 caps now because there are so many games, but you have to live for your time. Throughout my football career, I always had to try and prove a point to someone. I never coasted. “Brian Clough got rid of me at Derby and when I went to Birmingham I was bombed out there as well, but the year Derby got rid of me I was voted their player of their year. Then, the year I left Birmingham, I was their player of the year as well. “When I started out, I was ever so tiny. I'm not that much bigger now. For Scotland U15's I played in a trial match and scored a couple of goals, but the squad was named to play England at Wembley and I wasn't even in it because I was too wee. I was told I’d never make it because of my size, but I had a bit of skill and tenacity about me.” And what of the prospects now for Scotland, managed by Gemmill’s former international team mate, Alex McLeish? “Gordon Strachan was probably only a matter of minutes away from getting us to the World Cup play-offs,” said Gemmill. “It looks like one or two talented youngsters are starting to come through - we just have to hope that these kids fulfil their promise in a Scotland jersey.” Archie Gemmill was speaking as the winner of the SFWA's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Scottish Power.
A Kuwaiti developer has unveiled plans to build the tallest office building in Birmingham as part of a £158m city centre development after years of delays. Property company Salhia is poised to start work on the project later this year, and is seeking companies to occupy the office space, which will sit alongside new homes, shops, restaurants and a hotel. The site where the scheme will be built is known as Beorma Quarter, which takes its name from the first settlement of Birmingham during the Anglo-Saxon period. Part of the development will be a 30-storey office building, the tallest in the city. The development of such a large office building hints at the increasing number of companies looking to relocate out of London. A hotel building and the city's BT Tower are the only taller structures in the city. Plans for the redevelopment of the 2.25-acre site have been in the pipeline for almost 10 years but have been beset by delays thanks to challenging market conditions and the complex nature of the site. An initial phase to refurbish an existing building on the site has already been completed. The new development is near to Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre, seen here on the right Waheed Nazir, corporate director for economy at Birmingham City Council, said the city was experiencing “unprecedented levels of growth” and so new offices were vital to it keeping up with demand. Birmingham has been boosted in recent years by progress made to build the High Speed Two rail line, and large companies moving staff to regional bases. Mr Nazir added: “Building on the success of recent relocations from major companies like HS2, HSBC and HMRC, it is clear that Birmingham is set to continue to be a hugely attractive place to invest and do business.” Salhia, which is listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, has previously worked on the redevelopment of Farnborough town centre in Hampshire alongside British developer St Modwen, but this will be its first stand-alone UK project. The company was established in 1974 by a group of prominent Kuwaiti businessmen, and has since developed a number of buildings in the Middle East and Europe.
Birmingham to get new skyscraper after plans unveiled for long-awaited redevelopment
A Kuwaiti developer has unveiled plans to build the tallest office building in Birmingham as part of a £158m city centre development after years of delays. Property company Salhia is poised to start work on the project later this year, and is seeking companies to occupy the office space, which will sit alongside new homes, shops, restaurants and a hotel. The site where the scheme will be built is known as Beorma Quarter, which takes its name from the first settlement of Birmingham during the Anglo-Saxon period. Part of the development will be a 30-storey office building, the tallest in the city. The development of such a large office building hints at the increasing number of companies looking to relocate out of London. A hotel building and the city's BT Tower are the only taller structures in the city. Plans for the redevelopment of the 2.25-acre site have been in the pipeline for almost 10 years but have been beset by delays thanks to challenging market conditions and the complex nature of the site. An initial phase to refurbish an existing building on the site has already been completed. The new development is near to Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre, seen here on the right Waheed Nazir, corporate director for economy at Birmingham City Council, said the city was experiencing “unprecedented levels of growth” and so new offices were vital to it keeping up with demand. Birmingham has been boosted in recent years by progress made to build the High Speed Two rail line, and large companies moving staff to regional bases. Mr Nazir added: “Building on the success of recent relocations from major companies like HS2, HSBC and HMRC, it is clear that Birmingham is set to continue to be a hugely attractive place to invest and do business.” Salhia, which is listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, has previously worked on the redevelopment of Farnborough town centre in Hampshire alongside British developer St Modwen, but this will be its first stand-alone UK project. The company was established in 1974 by a group of prominent Kuwaiti businessmen, and has since developed a number of buildings in the Middle East and Europe.
A Kuwaiti developer has unveiled plans to build the tallest office building in Birmingham as part of a £158m city centre development after years of delays. Property company Salhia is poised to start work on the project later this year, and is seeking companies to occupy the office space, which will sit alongside new homes, shops, restaurants and a hotel. The site where the scheme will be built is known as Beorma Quarter, which takes its name from the first settlement of Birmingham during the Anglo-Saxon period. Part of the development will be a 30-storey office building, the tallest in the city. The development of such a large office building hints at the increasing number of companies looking to relocate out of London. A hotel building and the city's BT Tower are the only taller structures in the city. Plans for the redevelopment of the 2.25-acre site have been in the pipeline for almost 10 years but have been beset by delays thanks to challenging market conditions and the complex nature of the site. An initial phase to refurbish an existing building on the site has already been completed. The new development is near to Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre, seen here on the right Waheed Nazir, corporate director for economy at Birmingham City Council, said the city was experiencing “unprecedented levels of growth” and so new offices were vital to it keeping up with demand. Birmingham has been boosted in recent years by progress made to build the High Speed Two rail line, and large companies moving staff to regional bases. Mr Nazir added: “Building on the success of recent relocations from major companies like HS2, HSBC and HMRC, it is clear that Birmingham is set to continue to be a hugely attractive place to invest and do business.” Salhia, which is listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, has previously worked on the redevelopment of Farnborough town centre in Hampshire alongside British developer St Modwen, but this will be its first stand-alone UK project. The company was established in 1974 by a group of prominent Kuwaiti businessmen, and has since developed a number of buildings in the Middle East and Europe.
Birmingham to get new skyscraper after plans unveiled for long-awaited redevelopment
A Kuwaiti developer has unveiled plans to build the tallest office building in Birmingham as part of a £158m city centre development after years of delays. Property company Salhia is poised to start work on the project later this year, and is seeking companies to occupy the office space, which will sit alongside new homes, shops, restaurants and a hotel. The site where the scheme will be built is known as Beorma Quarter, which takes its name from the first settlement of Birmingham during the Anglo-Saxon period. Part of the development will be a 30-storey office building, the tallest in the city. The development of such a large office building hints at the increasing number of companies looking to relocate out of London. A hotel building and the city's BT Tower are the only taller structures in the city. Plans for the redevelopment of the 2.25-acre site have been in the pipeline for almost 10 years but have been beset by delays thanks to challenging market conditions and the complex nature of the site. An initial phase to refurbish an existing building on the site has already been completed. The new development is near to Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre, seen here on the right Waheed Nazir, corporate director for economy at Birmingham City Council, said the city was experiencing “unprecedented levels of growth” and so new offices were vital to it keeping up with demand. Birmingham has been boosted in recent years by progress made to build the High Speed Two rail line, and large companies moving staff to regional bases. Mr Nazir added: “Building on the success of recent relocations from major companies like HS2, HSBC and HMRC, it is clear that Birmingham is set to continue to be a hugely attractive place to invest and do business.” Salhia, which is listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange, has previously worked on the redevelopment of Farnborough town centre in Hampshire alongside British developer St Modwen, but this will be its first stand-alone UK project. The company was established in 1974 by a group of prominent Kuwaiti businessmen, and has since developed a number of buildings in the Middle East and Europe.
While Birmingham City's supporters celebrated survival on Sunday, one fan was preparing for a painful tribute to manager Garry Monk.
Monk funds fan's bid to have Birmingham boss tattooed on his bottom
While Birmingham City's supporters celebrated survival on Sunday, one fan was preparing for a painful tribute to manager Garry Monk.
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Cardiff City promoted to the Premier League after Fulham fail to beat Birmingham City
Aleksander Mitrovic is challenged by Harlee Dean of Birmingham City as Fulham failed to secure automatic promotion
Fulham fail in automatic promotion bid while Bolton achieve great escape
Aleksander Mitrovic is challenged by Harlee Dean of Birmingham City as Fulham failed to secure automatic promotion
Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League after a goalless draw against Reading on Sunday secured them second place in England's second tier Championship. Cardiff finished with 90 points, two points ahead of third-placed Fulham, who suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Birmingham City on the final day of the campaign. Cardiff re-enter the top-flight for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock told Sky Sports: "The biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute country mile. Nobody gave us a chance. I am so proud of them. I was better when I heard the Birmingham score. I feel really proud at the job I have done. I didn't think we would get in the play-offs let alone the Premier League." Sean Morrison celebrates with fans Credit: REUTERS Cardiff defender Sean Morrison told Sky Sports: "A roller-coaster year. But we have an incredible set of lads here. To finish on 90 points over the season is fantastic. The gaffer has rallied us all year." Morrison's centre-back partner Sol Bamba added: "I love everything about it (the club). It was wonderful. We have got what we deserved. A lot of people did not think we could do it, but we did. I can't wait (for the Premier League)." Cardiff promoted to the Premier League | Neil Warnock's eighth promotion as manager Barnsley, who lost 4-1 at Derby, and Burton - defeated 2-1 by Preston - have been relegated to League One. Elsewhere, Fulham blew their chance of automatic promotion to the Premier League after suffering a 3-1 defeat at survivors Birmingham. Victory would have sent the Cottagers back to the top flight after Cardiff could only draw 0-0 with Reading. But goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz, Harlee Dean and Che Adams ensured the hosts beat relegation on the final day and denied the visitors second place. Tom Cairney briefly made it 2-1 but Fulham must rely on the play-offs - where they will face Derby - to return to the Premier League after a four-year absence. Birmingham sealed their place in the Sky Bet Championship after a season-long battle against the drop, finally finishing five points above the bottom three. Championship | Final day results
Cardiff promoted to the Premier League on final day as Burton and Barnsley drop to League One
Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League after a goalless draw against Reading on Sunday secured them second place in England's second tier Championship. Cardiff finished with 90 points, two points ahead of third-placed Fulham, who suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Birmingham City on the final day of the campaign. Cardiff re-enter the top-flight for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock told Sky Sports: "The biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute country mile. Nobody gave us a chance. I am so proud of them. I was better when I heard the Birmingham score. I feel really proud at the job I have done. I didn't think we would get in the play-offs let alone the Premier League." Sean Morrison celebrates with fans Credit: REUTERS Cardiff defender Sean Morrison told Sky Sports: "A roller-coaster year. But we have an incredible set of lads here. To finish on 90 points over the season is fantastic. The gaffer has rallied us all year." Morrison's centre-back partner Sol Bamba added: "I love everything about it (the club). It was wonderful. We have got what we deserved. A lot of people did not think we could do it, but we did. I can't wait (for the Premier League)." Cardiff promoted to the Premier League | Neil Warnock's eighth promotion as manager Barnsley, who lost 4-1 at Derby, and Burton - defeated 2-1 by Preston - have been relegated to League One. Elsewhere, Fulham blew their chance of automatic promotion to the Premier League after suffering a 3-1 defeat at survivors Birmingham. Victory would have sent the Cottagers back to the top flight after Cardiff could only draw 0-0 with Reading. But goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz, Harlee Dean and Che Adams ensured the hosts beat relegation on the final day and denied the visitors second place. Tom Cairney briefly made it 2-1 but Fulham must rely on the play-offs - where they will face Derby - to return to the Premier League after a four-year absence. Birmingham sealed their place in the Sky Bet Championship after a season-long battle against the drop, finally finishing five points above the bottom three. Championship | Final day results
Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League after a goalless draw against Reading on Sunday secured them second place in England's second tier Championship. Cardiff finished with 90 points, two points ahead of third-placed Fulham, who suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Birmingham City on the final day of the campaign. Cardiff re-enter the top-flight for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock told Sky Sports: "The biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute country mile. Nobody gave us a chance. I am so proud of them. I was better when I heard the Birmingham score. I feel really proud at the job I have done. I didn't think we would get in the play-offs let alone the Premier League." Sean Morrison celebrates with fans Credit: REUTERS Cardiff defender Sean Morrison told Sky Sports: "A roller-coaster year. But we have an incredible set of lads here. To finish on 90 points over the season is fantastic. The gaffer has rallied us all year." Morrison's centre-back partner Sol Bamba added: "I love everything about it (the club). It was wonderful. We have got what we deserved. A lot of people did not think we could do it, but we did. I can't wait (for the Premier League)." Cardiff promoted to the Premier League | Neil Warnock's eighth promotion as manager Barnsley, who lost 4-1 at Derby, and Burton - defeated 2-1 by Preston - have been relegated to League One. Elsewhere, Fulham blew their chance of automatic promotion to the Premier League after suffering a 3-1 defeat at survivors Birmingham. Victory would have sent the Cottagers back to the top flight after Cardiff could only draw 0-0 with Reading. But goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz, Harlee Dean and Che Adams ensured the hosts beat relegation on the final day and denied the visitors second place. Tom Cairney briefly made it 2-1 but Fulham must rely on the play-offs - where they will face Derby - to return to the Premier League after a four-year absence. Birmingham sealed their place in the Sky Bet Championship after a season-long battle against the drop, finally finishing five points above the bottom three. Championship | Final day results
Cardiff promoted to the Premier League on final day as Burton and Barnsley drop to League One
Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League after a goalless draw against Reading on Sunday secured them second place in England's second tier Championship. Cardiff finished with 90 points, two points ahead of third-placed Fulham, who suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Birmingham City on the final day of the campaign. Cardiff re-enter the top-flight for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock told Sky Sports: "The biggest achievement in my 38-year career by an absolute country mile. Nobody gave us a chance. I am so proud of them. I was better when I heard the Birmingham score. I feel really proud at the job I have done. I didn't think we would get in the play-offs let alone the Premier League." Sean Morrison celebrates with fans Credit: REUTERS Cardiff defender Sean Morrison told Sky Sports: "A roller-coaster year. But we have an incredible set of lads here. To finish on 90 points over the season is fantastic. The gaffer has rallied us all year." Morrison's centre-back partner Sol Bamba added: "I love everything about it (the club). It was wonderful. We have got what we deserved. A lot of people did not think we could do it, but we did. I can't wait (for the Premier League)." Cardiff promoted to the Premier League | Neil Warnock's eighth promotion as manager Barnsley, who lost 4-1 at Derby, and Burton - defeated 2-1 by Preston - have been relegated to League One. Elsewhere, Fulham blew their chance of automatic promotion to the Premier League after suffering a 3-1 defeat at survivors Birmingham. Victory would have sent the Cottagers back to the top flight after Cardiff could only draw 0-0 with Reading. But goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz, Harlee Dean and Che Adams ensured the hosts beat relegation on the final day and denied the visitors second place. Tom Cairney briefly made it 2-1 but Fulham must rely on the play-offs - where they will face Derby - to return to the Premier League after a four-year absence. Birmingham sealed their place in the Sky Bet Championship after a season-long battle against the drop, finally finishing five points above the bottom three. Championship | Final day results
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Birmingham City vs Fulham LIVE: Championship 2017-18 latest score, goal updates, TV, online, team news, line-ups, table and promotion predictions
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock on verge of record eighth career promotion as Cardiff move into pole position to join Premier League
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock on verge of record eighth career promotion as Cardiff move into pole position to join Premier League
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock on verge of record eighth career promotion as Cardiff move into pole position to join Premier League
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Middlesbrough are suing their former manager Garry Monk's back room team and his new club Birmingham City after they employed the same staff at St Andrew’s as he had during his time on Teesside. In what appears to be a legal first in football, Middlesbrough are claiming that Birmingham have been given a competitive advantage because of the inside knowledge they have gained about their own football operation by employing Monk and his coaching staff. They are seeking damages and the removal of the entire Birmingham backroom team until the end of the year. Monk was sacked by Boro in December after less than six months in charge as the club had failed to mount the sort of challenge for automatic promotion owner Steve Gibson had envisaged after relegation from the Premier League. The former Swansea City and Leeds United boss returned to management with Birmingham in March and is on course to lead the Midlands club away from relegation to League One. Monk was joined at St Andrew’s by former England international James Beattie, Sean Rush, Ryan Needs and Darryl Flahavan. Beattie was employed by Boro as first-team coach, Flahavan as goalkeeping coach, Rush as head of physical performance and Needs as head of physical performance analysis. Monk was sacked by Boro last December Credit: Andrew Fox They were placed on gardening leave when Monk was sacked but quit in March in order to link up with him again at Birmingham. According to lawyers representing Middlesbrough, there was a clause in the backroom team members’ contracts preventing them from working together, and alongside Monk, for their Championship rival until December 28 this year. The two teams could still be playing in different divisions next season as Middlesbrough, under new manager Tony Pulis, are in the play-off places in the Championship, but that has not prevented legal action being taken as they believe the quartet’s insider knowledge may give Birmingham a ‘competitive advantage’ over them. Their knowledge of ‘confidential information’ includes transfer targets and strategy, player wages and weaknesses, Boro’s lawyers argued. Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs Representing Middlesbrough, Ian Mill QC, told London’s High Court restrictions were included in their contracts to protect Boro’s players, staff and the club itself. “There is a real risk that Middlesbrough will lose players to BCFC if it continues to employ each member of the backroom team at the same time as each other and/or Mr Monk,” he said. “A number of Middlesbrough’s current players, including some of its young players, who are on comparatively low salaries, were recruited or favoured by different members of the backroom team and remain loyal to them.” The quartet also have knowledge of the weaknesses of Boro players, which could make it ‘more difficult for Middlesbrough to sell players during the transfer window’ and are aware of the players that Boro intend to sign and the type of players they are looking for if they do not win promotion. “BCFC’s employment of the backroom team is therefore likely to give it ongoing competitive advantage over Middlesbrough,” Mr Mill added. Boro are seeking an injunction that would stop the quartet working for Birmingham until December 28, as well as damages.
Middlesbrough launch legal action against Garry Monk's back room team and Birmingham
Middlesbrough are suing their former manager Garry Monk's back room team and his new club Birmingham City after they employed the same staff at St Andrew’s as he had during his time on Teesside. In what appears to be a legal first in football, Middlesbrough are claiming that Birmingham have been given a competitive advantage because of the inside knowledge they have gained about their own football operation by employing Monk and his coaching staff. They are seeking damages and the removal of the entire Birmingham backroom team until the end of the year. Monk was sacked by Boro in December after less than six months in charge as the club had failed to mount the sort of challenge for automatic promotion owner Steve Gibson had envisaged after relegation from the Premier League. The former Swansea City and Leeds United boss returned to management with Birmingham in March and is on course to lead the Midlands club away from relegation to League One. Monk was joined at St Andrew’s by former England international James Beattie, Sean Rush, Ryan Needs and Darryl Flahavan. Beattie was employed by Boro as first-team coach, Flahavan as goalkeeping coach, Rush as head of physical performance and Needs as head of physical performance analysis. Monk was sacked by Boro last December Credit: Andrew Fox They were placed on gardening leave when Monk was sacked but quit in March in order to link up with him again at Birmingham. According to lawyers representing Middlesbrough, there was a clause in the backroom team members’ contracts preventing them from working together, and alongside Monk, for their Championship rival until December 28 this year. The two teams could still be playing in different divisions next season as Middlesbrough, under new manager Tony Pulis, are in the play-off places in the Championship, but that has not prevented legal action being taken as they believe the quartet’s insider knowledge may give Birmingham a ‘competitive advantage’ over them. Their knowledge of ‘confidential information’ includes transfer targets and strategy, player wages and weaknesses, Boro’s lawyers argued. Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs Representing Middlesbrough, Ian Mill QC, told London’s High Court restrictions were included in their contracts to protect Boro’s players, staff and the club itself. “There is a real risk that Middlesbrough will lose players to BCFC if it continues to employ each member of the backroom team at the same time as each other and/or Mr Monk,” he said. “A number of Middlesbrough’s current players, including some of its young players, who are on comparatively low salaries, were recruited or favoured by different members of the backroom team and remain loyal to them.” The quartet also have knowledge of the weaknesses of Boro players, which could make it ‘more difficult for Middlesbrough to sell players during the transfer window’ and are aware of the players that Boro intend to sign and the type of players they are looking for if they do not win promotion. “BCFC’s employment of the backroom team is therefore likely to give it ongoing competitive advantage over Middlesbrough,” Mr Mill added. Boro are seeking an injunction that would stop the quartet working for Birmingham until December 28, as well as damages.
Middlesbrough are suing their former manager Garry Monk's back room team and his new club Birmingham City after they employed the same staff at St Andrew’s as he had during his time on Teesside. In what appears to be a legal first in football, Middlesbrough are claiming that Birmingham have been given a competitive advantage because of the inside knowledge they have gained about their own football operation by employing Monk and his coaching staff. They are seeking damages and the removal of the entire Birmingham backroom team until the end of the year. Monk was sacked by Boro in December after less than six months in charge as the club had failed to mount the sort of challenge for automatic promotion owner Steve Gibson had envisaged after relegation from the Premier League. The former Swansea City and Leeds United boss returned to management with Birmingham in March and is on course to lead the Midlands club away from relegation to League One. Monk was joined at St Andrew’s by former England international James Beattie, Sean Rush, Ryan Needs and Darryl Flahavan. Beattie was employed by Boro as first-team coach, Flahavan as goalkeeping coach, Rush as head of physical performance and Needs as head of physical performance analysis. Monk was sacked by Boro last December Credit: Andrew Fox They were placed on gardening leave when Monk was sacked but quit in March in order to link up with him again at Birmingham. According to lawyers representing Middlesbrough, there was a clause in the backroom team members’ contracts preventing them from working together, and alongside Monk, for their Championship rival until December 28 this year. The two teams could still be playing in different divisions next season as Middlesbrough, under new manager Tony Pulis, are in the play-off places in the Championship, but that has not prevented legal action being taken as they believe the quartet’s insider knowledge may give Birmingham a ‘competitive advantage’ over them. Their knowledge of ‘confidential information’ includes transfer targets and strategy, player wages and weaknesses, Boro’s lawyers argued. Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs Representing Middlesbrough, Ian Mill QC, told London’s High Court restrictions were included in their contracts to protect Boro’s players, staff and the club itself. “There is a real risk that Middlesbrough will lose players to BCFC if it continues to employ each member of the backroom team at the same time as each other and/or Mr Monk,” he said. “A number of Middlesbrough’s current players, including some of its young players, who are on comparatively low salaries, were recruited or favoured by different members of the backroom team and remain loyal to them.” The quartet also have knowledge of the weaknesses of Boro players, which could make it ‘more difficult for Middlesbrough to sell players during the transfer window’ and are aware of the players that Boro intend to sign and the type of players they are looking for if they do not win promotion. “BCFC’s employment of the backroom team is therefore likely to give it ongoing competitive advantage over Middlesbrough,” Mr Mill added. Boro are seeking an injunction that would stop the quartet working for Birmingham until December 28, as well as damages.
Middlesbrough launch legal action against Garry Monk's back room team and Birmingham
Middlesbrough are suing their former manager Garry Monk's back room team and his new club Birmingham City after they employed the same staff at St Andrew’s as he had during his time on Teesside. In what appears to be a legal first in football, Middlesbrough are claiming that Birmingham have been given a competitive advantage because of the inside knowledge they have gained about their own football operation by employing Monk and his coaching staff. They are seeking damages and the removal of the entire Birmingham backroom team until the end of the year. Monk was sacked by Boro in December after less than six months in charge as the club had failed to mount the sort of challenge for automatic promotion owner Steve Gibson had envisaged after relegation from the Premier League. The former Swansea City and Leeds United boss returned to management with Birmingham in March and is on course to lead the Midlands club away from relegation to League One. Monk was joined at St Andrew’s by former England international James Beattie, Sean Rush, Ryan Needs and Darryl Flahavan. Beattie was employed by Boro as first-team coach, Flahavan as goalkeeping coach, Rush as head of physical performance and Needs as head of physical performance analysis. Monk was sacked by Boro last December Credit: Andrew Fox They were placed on gardening leave when Monk was sacked but quit in March in order to link up with him again at Birmingham. According to lawyers representing Middlesbrough, there was a clause in the backroom team members’ contracts preventing them from working together, and alongside Monk, for their Championship rival until December 28 this year. The two teams could still be playing in different divisions next season as Middlesbrough, under new manager Tony Pulis, are in the play-off places in the Championship, but that has not prevented legal action being taken as they believe the quartet’s insider knowledge may give Birmingham a ‘competitive advantage’ over them. Their knowledge of ‘confidential information’ includes transfer targets and strategy, player wages and weaknesses, Boro’s lawyers argued. Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs Representing Middlesbrough, Ian Mill QC, told London’s High Court restrictions were included in their contracts to protect Boro’s players, staff and the club itself. “There is a real risk that Middlesbrough will lose players to BCFC if it continues to employ each member of the backroom team at the same time as each other and/or Mr Monk,” he said. “A number of Middlesbrough’s current players, including some of its young players, who are on comparatively low salaries, were recruited or favoured by different members of the backroom team and remain loyal to them.” The quartet also have knowledge of the weaknesses of Boro players, which could make it ‘more difficult for Middlesbrough to sell players during the transfer window’ and are aware of the players that Boro intend to sign and the type of players they are looking for if they do not win promotion. “BCFC’s employment of the backroom team is therefore likely to give it ongoing competitive advantage over Middlesbrough,” Mr Mill added. Boro are seeking an injunction that would stop the quartet working for Birmingham until December 28, as well as damages.
Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo is thrown into the air by his players as they celebrate the club’s return to the Premier League after their game against Birmingham City.
Wolves’ hunger to restore lost glory puts them back at the top table
Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo is thrown into the air by his players as they celebrate the club’s return to the Premier League after their game against Birmingham City.
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers fans display a banner Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers fans display a banner Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Benik Afobe celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Benik Afobe celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Benik Afobe scores their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Benik Afobe scores their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota in action with Birmingham City's Jota Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota in action with Birmingham City's Jota Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Benik Afobe scores their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Benik Afobe scores their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota in action with Birmingham City's Jota Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota in action with Birmingham City's Jota Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' John Ruddy makes a save Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' John Ruddy makes a save Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Birmingham City's Harlee Dean is shown a red card by referee Andy Davies Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Birmingham City's Harlee Dean is shown a red card by referee Andy Davies Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Helder Costa in action Birmingham City's Cheick Ndoye Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Helder Costa in action Birmingham City's Cheick Ndoye Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Willy Boly and team mates celebrate promotion after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Willy Boly and team mates celebrate promotion after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota scores their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota scores their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City
Soccer Football - Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Birmingham City - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - April 15, 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Diogo Jota and Benik Afobe scored in each half as Wolves marked their return to the top flight in style against Birmingham City.
Wolves 2 Birmingham City 0: Jota and Afobe kick off promotion party
Diogo Jota and Benik Afobe scored in each half as Wolves marked their return to the top flight in style against Birmingham City.
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Wolves vs Birmingham City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Wolves vs Birmingham City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Wolves vs Birmingham City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Wolves vs Birmingham City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Wolves vs Birmingham City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview
Nuno's side have dominated the 2017-18 Championship campaign and will be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League when taking in a derby date
Aston Villa joined Fulham and Cardiff in guaranteeing themselves at least a play-off place as the race for promotion to the Premier League moves closer to its denouement, although they reached their target by a somewhat nervous route in the end. Lewis Grabban’s 17th goal of the season - his fifth in a Villa shirt - hardly provided an adequate reflection of Villa’s dominance in the first half. They created plenty of chances in the second half but they ran into a determined opponent in Northern Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and the comfort of a second goal proved beyond them. Leeds have only won twice in their last 19 Championship matches but gave Villa some uncomfortable moments, early in each half in particular, and the one-goal lead looked tenuous at times. As it is, the second automatic promotion place alongside Wolves is still within Villa’s reach and in Steve Bruce, promoted four times from the Championship with Birmingham City and Hull (twice each), they have a manager who knows what is required to get across the line. Lewis Grabban heads in the only goal of the game Credit: Getty images Bruce, who will be hoping Fulham and Cardiff take a tumble while he spends Saturday afternoon at Aintree, professed to have felt less nervous than some in the Villa crowd plainly did. His main concern was that too many of his players looked weary, the effort of beating high-flying Cardiff on Tuesday night catching up with a few of them. “We gave the ball away too many times but that’s what happens when you have tired players,” he said. “Five games in 13 days is a ridiculous schedule but that is what the Championship is. “I still felt we were comfortable. I don’t remember our keeper having to make too many saves.” He made one, in fact, in the third minute as Ezgjan Alioski, the Leeds wide player, tested Sam Johnstone with a shot he had to push over his bar. The Yorkshire side were largely on the back foot thereafter, however. Robert Snodgrass, facing the first of the five English clubs he has represented, drew a diving save from Peacock-Farrell, brought into the side last month after manager Paul Heckingbottom decided to take Felix Wiedwald out of the firing line, who was excellent throughout. When Villa scored in the 29th minute, they did look comfortable. Jack Grealish, unmarked as he retrieved the ball wide on the left, stepped past his marker and crossed towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Grabban climbed above Matthew Pennington to head into the corner of the net. Villa’s confidence looked high and they should have been further ahead. Jonathan Kodjia, starting his first match since late October following an ankle injury, saw plenty of the ball and might have made more of it had he been sharper. Leeds began the second half with much more purpose, though, and there was a reminder for Villa that a one-goal lead was nothing to feel complacent about as a shot whipped in by Kalvin Phillips beat Johnstone and was headed away in front of his left-hand post by Glenn Whelan, although replays suggested the ball was going wide. The visitors looked increasingly threatening, Villa increasingly nervous, yet another chance for the home side to give themselves breathing space came and went as Peacock-Farrell defied Grabban and Kodjia in quick succession. Fortunately for them, Leeds, who have not won away from home this year, faded in the closing stages in the way Bruce will hope his pick in the Grand National field does not.
Aston Villa guarantee Championship play-off place with nervy victory over Leeds
Aston Villa joined Fulham and Cardiff in guaranteeing themselves at least a play-off place as the race for promotion to the Premier League moves closer to its denouement, although they reached their target by a somewhat nervous route in the end. Lewis Grabban’s 17th goal of the season - his fifth in a Villa shirt - hardly provided an adequate reflection of Villa’s dominance in the first half. They created plenty of chances in the second half but they ran into a determined opponent in Northern Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and the comfort of a second goal proved beyond them. Leeds have only won twice in their last 19 Championship matches but gave Villa some uncomfortable moments, early in each half in particular, and the one-goal lead looked tenuous at times. As it is, the second automatic promotion place alongside Wolves is still within Villa’s reach and in Steve Bruce, promoted four times from the Championship with Birmingham City and Hull (twice each), they have a manager who knows what is required to get across the line. Lewis Grabban heads in the only goal of the game Credit: Getty images Bruce, who will be hoping Fulham and Cardiff take a tumble while he spends Saturday afternoon at Aintree, professed to have felt less nervous than some in the Villa crowd plainly did. His main concern was that too many of his players looked weary, the effort of beating high-flying Cardiff on Tuesday night catching up with a few of them. “We gave the ball away too many times but that’s what happens when you have tired players,” he said. “Five games in 13 days is a ridiculous schedule but that is what the Championship is. “I still felt we were comfortable. I don’t remember our keeper having to make too many saves.” He made one, in fact, in the third minute as Ezgjan Alioski, the Leeds wide player, tested Sam Johnstone with a shot he had to push over his bar. The Yorkshire side were largely on the back foot thereafter, however. Robert Snodgrass, facing the first of the five English clubs he has represented, drew a diving save from Peacock-Farrell, brought into the side last month after manager Paul Heckingbottom decided to take Felix Wiedwald out of the firing line, who was excellent throughout. When Villa scored in the 29th minute, they did look comfortable. Jack Grealish, unmarked as he retrieved the ball wide on the left, stepped past his marker and crossed towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Grabban climbed above Matthew Pennington to head into the corner of the net. Villa’s confidence looked high and they should have been further ahead. Jonathan Kodjia, starting his first match since late October following an ankle injury, saw plenty of the ball and might have made more of it had he been sharper. Leeds began the second half with much more purpose, though, and there was a reminder for Villa that a one-goal lead was nothing to feel complacent about as a shot whipped in by Kalvin Phillips beat Johnstone and was headed away in front of his left-hand post by Glenn Whelan, although replays suggested the ball was going wide. The visitors looked increasingly threatening, Villa increasingly nervous, yet another chance for the home side to give themselves breathing space came and went as Peacock-Farrell defied Grabban and Kodjia in quick succession. Fortunately for them, Leeds, who have not won away from home this year, faded in the closing stages in the way Bruce will hope his pick in the Grand National field does not.
Aston Villa joined Fulham and Cardiff in guaranteeing themselves at least a play-off place as the race for promotion to the Premier League moves closer to its denouement, although they reached their target by a somewhat nervous route in the end. Lewis Grabban’s 17th goal of the season - his fifth in a Villa shirt - hardly provided an adequate reflection of Villa’s dominance in the first half. They created plenty of chances in the second half but they ran into a determined opponent in Northern Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and the comfort of a second goal proved beyond them. Leeds have only won twice in their last 19 Championship matches but gave Villa some uncomfortable moments, early in each half in particular, and the one-goal lead looked tenuous at times. As it is, the second automatic promotion place alongside Wolves is still within Villa’s reach and in Steve Bruce, promoted four times from the Championship with Birmingham City and Hull (twice each), they have a manager who knows what is required to get across the line. Lewis Grabban heads in the only goal of the game Credit: Getty images Bruce, who will be hoping Fulham and Cardiff take a tumble while he spends Saturday afternoon at Aintree, professed to have felt less nervous than some in the Villa crowd plainly did. His main concern was that too many of his players looked weary, the effort of beating high-flying Cardiff on Tuesday night catching up with a few of them. “We gave the ball away too many times but that’s what happens when you have tired players,” he said. “Five games in 13 days is a ridiculous schedule but that is what the Championship is. “I still felt we were comfortable. I don’t remember our keeper having to make too many saves.” He made one, in fact, in the third minute as Ezgjan Alioski, the Leeds wide player, tested Sam Johnstone with a shot he had to push over his bar. The Yorkshire side were largely on the back foot thereafter, however. Robert Snodgrass, facing the first of the five English clubs he has represented, drew a diving save from Peacock-Farrell, brought into the side last month after manager Paul Heckingbottom decided to take Felix Wiedwald out of the firing line, who was excellent throughout. When Villa scored in the 29th minute, they did look comfortable. Jack Grealish, unmarked as he retrieved the ball wide on the left, stepped past his marker and crossed towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Grabban climbed above Matthew Pennington to head into the corner of the net. Villa’s confidence looked high and they should have been further ahead. Jonathan Kodjia, starting his first match since late October following an ankle injury, saw plenty of the ball and might have made more of it had he been sharper. Leeds began the second half with much more purpose, though, and there was a reminder for Villa that a one-goal lead was nothing to feel complacent about as a shot whipped in by Kalvin Phillips beat Johnstone and was headed away in front of his left-hand post by Glenn Whelan, although replays suggested the ball was going wide. The visitors looked increasingly threatening, Villa increasingly nervous, yet another chance for the home side to give themselves breathing space came and went as Peacock-Farrell defied Grabban and Kodjia in quick succession. Fortunately for them, Leeds, who have not won away from home this year, faded in the closing stages in the way Bruce will hope his pick in the Grand National field does not.
Aston Villa guarantee Championship play-off place with nervy victory over Leeds
Aston Villa joined Fulham and Cardiff in guaranteeing themselves at least a play-off place as the race for promotion to the Premier League moves closer to its denouement, although they reached their target by a somewhat nervous route in the end. Lewis Grabban’s 17th goal of the season - his fifth in a Villa shirt - hardly provided an adequate reflection of Villa’s dominance in the first half. They created plenty of chances in the second half but they ran into a determined opponent in Northern Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and the comfort of a second goal proved beyond them. Leeds have only won twice in their last 19 Championship matches but gave Villa some uncomfortable moments, early in each half in particular, and the one-goal lead looked tenuous at times. As it is, the second automatic promotion place alongside Wolves is still within Villa’s reach and in Steve Bruce, promoted four times from the Championship with Birmingham City and Hull (twice each), they have a manager who knows what is required to get across the line. Lewis Grabban heads in the only goal of the game Credit: Getty images Bruce, who will be hoping Fulham and Cardiff take a tumble while he spends Saturday afternoon at Aintree, professed to have felt less nervous than some in the Villa crowd plainly did. His main concern was that too many of his players looked weary, the effort of beating high-flying Cardiff on Tuesday night catching up with a few of them. “We gave the ball away too many times but that’s what happens when you have tired players,” he said. “Five games in 13 days is a ridiculous schedule but that is what the Championship is. “I still felt we were comfortable. I don’t remember our keeper having to make too many saves.” He made one, in fact, in the third minute as Ezgjan Alioski, the Leeds wide player, tested Sam Johnstone with a shot he had to push over his bar. The Yorkshire side were largely on the back foot thereafter, however. Robert Snodgrass, facing the first of the five English clubs he has represented, drew a diving save from Peacock-Farrell, brought into the side last month after manager Paul Heckingbottom decided to take Felix Wiedwald out of the firing line, who was excellent throughout. When Villa scored in the 29th minute, they did look comfortable. Jack Grealish, unmarked as he retrieved the ball wide on the left, stepped past his marker and crossed towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Grabban climbed above Matthew Pennington to head into the corner of the net. Villa’s confidence looked high and they should have been further ahead. Jonathan Kodjia, starting his first match since late October following an ankle injury, saw plenty of the ball and might have made more of it had he been sharper. Leeds began the second half with much more purpose, though, and there was a reminder for Villa that a one-goal lead was nothing to feel complacent about as a shot whipped in by Kalvin Phillips beat Johnstone and was headed away in front of his left-hand post by Glenn Whelan, although replays suggested the ball was going wide. The visitors looked increasingly threatening, Villa increasingly nervous, yet another chance for the home side to give themselves breathing space came and went as Peacock-Farrell defied Grabban and Kodjia in quick succession. Fortunately for them, Leeds, who have not won away from home this year, faded in the closing stages in the way Bruce will hope his pick in the Grand National field does not.
Derby manager Gary Rowett hailed Ruben Neves as “a Champions League player” after the stunning strike that took Wolves to the brink of a return to the Premier League. The Molineux club’s £15.8 million record signing hit the goal of the Championship season early in the second half to put Molineux in party mood ahead of a Sunday lunchtime clash with Birmingham City that will confirm promotion and perhaps the title if they win. Positioned almost 30 yards from goal as Derby’s Chris Baird headed away a corner, the former Porto player flicked the ball up, slightly behind him with the outside of his right boot, before delivering an angled, dipping volley high into the farthest corner of the Derby goal, giving Scott Carson no chance. “It’s the first time as a manager I’ve almost applauded the opposition’s goal,” Rowett said. “I genuinely thought, what do you do about that? It was so good. He is 35 yards out, his touch is actually not brilliant because it takes the ball away from him, and the last thing our goalkeeper and back four think is he’s going to shoot. “To hit it with that precision, power, dip, accuracy, is Champions League stuff, not Championship stuff. “They have three or four players who are Premier League standard but Neves is a Champions League player.” Top scorer Diogo Jota had taken advantage of some poor Derby defending to give his side a sixth-minute lead with his 15th Championship goal. The victory, Wolves’ 28th of the season, stretches their lead over second-placed Fulham to 11 points and gives them a 12-point advantage over Cardiff. Should Fulham drop points at Brentford on Saturday, their return to the Premier League after a six-year absence will be confirmed regardless of their result on Sunday, while a win would see them crowned champions as well with three matches to spare if Cardiff drop points at Norwich on Saturday. Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo is not a man prone to excessiveness in his praise for his players – in contrast to some of his celebrations – but even he had to applaud Neves. “He has great talent and we are very fortunate to have him,” he said. “It was a very good goal, a beautiful goal and I am very pleased. “But it is all about the squad. You have to be humble and work hard and the rewards will come and now we focus on Sunday, the next game. It is no different.” Derby remain fifth but are far from certain of finishing in the play-off positions with only three points covering fifth to ninth place. Match details Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3): Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Saiss, Neves, Douglas; Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White 82), Afobe (Costa 66), Jota (Bonatini 74). Substitutes not used: Norris (g), N’Diaye, Batth, Hause. Derby County (4-4-1-1): Carson; Wisdom, Pearce, Davies, Baird; Weimann, Huddlestone, Ledley (Palmer 73), Lawrence; Vydra (Hanson 85); Nugent (Jerome 81). Substitutes not used: Roos (g), Forsyth, Keogh, Thomas. Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex) Bookings: Wolves: Bennett. Attendance: 28,503.
Wolves can clinch Premier League promotion this weekend after easing past Derby County
Derby manager Gary Rowett hailed Ruben Neves as “a Champions League player” after the stunning strike that took Wolves to the brink of a return to the Premier League. The Molineux club’s £15.8 million record signing hit the goal of the Championship season early in the second half to put Molineux in party mood ahead of a Sunday lunchtime clash with Birmingham City that will confirm promotion and perhaps the title if they win. Positioned almost 30 yards from goal as Derby’s Chris Baird headed away a corner, the former Porto player flicked the ball up, slightly behind him with the outside of his right boot, before delivering an angled, dipping volley high into the farthest corner of the Derby goal, giving Scott Carson no chance. “It’s the first time as a manager I’ve almost applauded the opposition’s goal,” Rowett said. “I genuinely thought, what do you do about that? It was so good. He is 35 yards out, his touch is actually not brilliant because it takes the ball away from him, and the last thing our goalkeeper and back four think is he’s going to shoot. “To hit it with that precision, power, dip, accuracy, is Champions League stuff, not Championship stuff. “They have three or four players who are Premier League standard but Neves is a Champions League player.” Top scorer Diogo Jota had taken advantage of some poor Derby defending to give his side a sixth-minute lead with his 15th Championship goal. The victory, Wolves’ 28th of the season, stretches their lead over second-placed Fulham to 11 points and gives them a 12-point advantage over Cardiff. Should Fulham drop points at Brentford on Saturday, their return to the Premier League after a six-year absence will be confirmed regardless of their result on Sunday, while a win would see them crowned champions as well with three matches to spare if Cardiff drop points at Norwich on Saturday. Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo is not a man prone to excessiveness in his praise for his players – in contrast to some of his celebrations – but even he had to applaud Neves. “He has great talent and we are very fortunate to have him,” he said. “It was a very good goal, a beautiful goal and I am very pleased. “But it is all about the squad. You have to be humble and work hard and the rewards will come and now we focus on Sunday, the next game. It is no different.” Derby remain fifth but are far from certain of finishing in the play-off positions with only three points covering fifth to ninth place. Match details Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3): Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Saiss, Neves, Douglas; Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White 82), Afobe (Costa 66), Jota (Bonatini 74). Substitutes not used: Norris (g), N’Diaye, Batth, Hause. Derby County (4-4-1-1): Carson; Wisdom, Pearce, Davies, Baird; Weimann, Huddlestone, Ledley (Palmer 73), Lawrence; Vydra (Hanson 85); Nugent (Jerome 81). Substitutes not used: Roos (g), Forsyth, Keogh, Thomas. Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex) Bookings: Wolves: Bennett. Attendance: 28,503.
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Birmingham City vs Ipswich Town - St Andrew's, Birmingham, Britain - March 31, 2018 Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy Action Images/Alan Walter
Championship - Birmingham City vs Ipswich Town
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Birmingham City vs Ipswich Town - St Andrew's, Birmingham, Britain - March 31, 2018 Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy Action Images/Alan Walter
Garry Monk rued his Birmingham side’s profligacy in front of goal as they stayed in danger of Championship relegation following defeat to play-off hopefuls Bristol City. The Blues survived dropping into League One at Ashton Gate on the final day of last season under the guidance of Harry Redknapp, but this result leaves them three points above the bottom three 11 months on. Birmingham had 18 shots, but missed a hatful of glorious chances and Bristol showed them how to be clinical in front of goal to score through Marlon Pack, Bobby Reid and Matty Taylor. Lukas Jutkiewicz netted his third goal in as many games and if Birmingham can find the ruthlessness in front of goal which they lacked here, they will surely stay in the division based on this display. Monk said: “The difference in the game was that Bristol were clinical and we weren’t. We look at that game as a missed opportunity. “Coming into this match we had not created many chances. We’ve addressed that, but you need to take the opportunities given to you at any point in the season and especially this stage. “We could have created more distance between ourselves and the bottom three with a result so we are disappointed with that.” An entertaining first half saw a confident Birmingham defy their lowly league position to have 11 shots yet still turn around 2-1 down. Pack smashed home a stunning free-kick from 25 yards to open the scoring following a foul on Reid and 15 minutes later it was 2-0 thanks to the excellent Reid’s 20th goal of the season. Joe Bryan’s long ball was headed down by Famara Diedhiou and Reid – who has been linked with a Premier League move following his fine form this season – did the rest. Jutkiewicz narrowed Birmingham’s deficit before the break, cutting inside to unleash a left-footed finish which beat Bristol stopper Frank Fielding at his near post. Still, it should have been much better for Birmingham as Monk saw Jutkiewicz and Jeremie Boga fail to find the target while Jacques Maghoma somehow missed from close range. Both sides launched into battle when the game resumed. It was the blood and thunder of the Championship at its best, the challenges flying in and Reid – somehow – heading against the bar from a little over a yard out. Birmingham had their moments too, but Jutkiewicz summed up their day when he failed to convert a glorious headed chance when it looked easier to score. Bristol promptly went up the other end and showed them how to take the opportunities on offer at crucial moments when substitute Taylor converted Reid’s low cross late on. “It was a big win and we had to be bold,” said Bristol boss Lee Johnson. “In the last two games we have let everybody down with our attitude and it has been powder-puff stuff from us. “We needed to change the dynamic and we gave the fans a good game to watch.” Match details Bristol City (4-4-2) Fielding; Bryan, Flint, Baker, Kelly; Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Reid (O’Neil 89); Diedhiou (Taylor 80), Djuric (O’Dowda 69). Subs Steele (g), Pisano, Eliasson, Paterson, O’Neil. Birmingham City (4-4-2) Stockdale; Harding, Morrison, Dean, Colin (N’Doye 80); Jota, Davis, Kieftenbeld (Lowe 85), Maghoma; Boga (Lubula 69), Jutkiewicz. Subs Kuszczak (g), Grounds, Roberts, Dacres-Cogley. Booked Dean. Referee Geoff Eltringham (Durham).
Bristol City maintain play-off pressure as profligate Birmingham squander their chances
Garry Monk rued his Birmingham side’s profligacy in front of goal as they stayed in danger of Championship relegation following defeat to play-off hopefuls Bristol City. The Blues survived dropping into League One at Ashton Gate on the final day of last season under the guidance of Harry Redknapp, but this result leaves them three points above the bottom three 11 months on. Birmingham had 18 shots, but missed a hatful of glorious chances and Bristol showed them how to be clinical in front of goal to score through Marlon Pack, Bobby Reid and Matty Taylor. Lukas Jutkiewicz netted his third goal in as many games and if Birmingham can find the ruthlessness in front of goal which they lacked here, they will surely stay in the division based on this display. Monk said: “The difference in the game was that Bristol were clinical and we weren’t. We look at that game as a missed opportunity. “Coming into this match we had not created many chances. We’ve addressed that, but you need to take the opportunities given to you at any point in the season and especially this stage. “We could have created more distance between ourselves and the bottom three with a result so we are disappointed with that.” An entertaining first half saw a confident Birmingham defy their lowly league position to have 11 shots yet still turn around 2-1 down. Pack smashed home a stunning free-kick from 25 yards to open the scoring following a foul on Reid and 15 minutes later it was 2-0 thanks to the excellent Reid’s 20th goal of the season. Joe Bryan’s long ball was headed down by Famara Diedhiou and Reid – who has been linked with a Premier League move following his fine form this season – did the rest. Jutkiewicz narrowed Birmingham’s deficit before the break, cutting inside to unleash a left-footed finish which beat Bristol stopper Frank Fielding at his near post. Still, it should have been much better for Birmingham as Monk saw Jutkiewicz and Jeremie Boga fail to find the target while Jacques Maghoma somehow missed from close range. Both sides launched into battle when the game resumed. It was the blood and thunder of the Championship at its best, the challenges flying in and Reid – somehow – heading against the bar from a little over a yard out. Birmingham had their moments too, but Jutkiewicz summed up their day when he failed to convert a glorious headed chance when it looked easier to score. Bristol promptly went up the other end and showed them how to take the opportunities on offer at crucial moments when substitute Taylor converted Reid’s low cross late on. “It was a big win and we had to be bold,” said Bristol boss Lee Johnson. “In the last two games we have let everybody down with our attitude and it has been powder-puff stuff from us. “We needed to change the dynamic and we gave the fans a good game to watch.” Match details Bristol City (4-4-2) Fielding; Bryan, Flint, Baker, Kelly; Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Reid (O’Neil 89); Diedhiou (Taylor 80), Djuric (O’Dowda 69). Subs Steele (g), Pisano, Eliasson, Paterson, O’Neil. Birmingham City (4-4-2) Stockdale; Harding, Morrison, Dean, Colin (N’Doye 80); Jota, Davis, Kieftenbeld (Lowe 85), Maghoma; Boga (Lubula 69), Jutkiewicz. Subs Kuszczak (g), Grounds, Roberts, Dacres-Cogley. Booked Dean. Referee Geoff Eltringham (Durham).
There were contrasting emotions for rivals Birmingham City and Aston Villa in the Championship on Saturday.
Championship Review: Birmingham move out of the drop zone
There were contrasting emotions for rivals Birmingham City and Aston Villa in the Championship on Saturday.
Clockwise from top left: Adama Traoré of Middlesbrough; Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon; Birmingham City’s Jota; and the Barnsley manager José Morais.
Can Boro stun Wolves? Will Derby wake? Key Championship questions
Clockwise from top left: Adama Traoré of Middlesbrough; Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon; Birmingham City’s Jota; and the Barnsley manager José Morais.
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Exclusive Garry Monk interview: 'It’s all about the belief' – Birmingham City manager confident they can stay up
Garry Monk is considering the question of why he wants to be a manager – and in particular at Birmingham City, or 'crisis club Birmingham City' as they have become known. The answer, when it comes, is emphatic. “Because I am ambitious,” Monk says. “I want to be in the Premier League. I want to manage at the best level. It’s driven in me. As a player I started at the bottom, went to the top, didn’t make the grade and went all the way back down and it’s a question of: ‘do you trust yourself or not?’ And I ended up finishing back at the top. "Each time I made that step up there was that question: ‘can you do it?’ And it was about proving people wrong. That mentality has always been there and I guess I’ve taken that into management.” But why, after stints managing Swansea City, Leeds United and Middlesbrough, did he choose Birmingham? He is the fifth man in 15 months to take the post at St Andrews, with the club facing a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Championship, and where – to put it mildly – mistakes have been made by the owners, Trillion Trophy Asia. “It doesn’t bother me,” Monk says. “If it’s the right one (job) and I feel I can do well and improve it then I take it. I already feel I am 100 times a better manager than when I first started at Swansea. It’s the truth. And knowing that means I believe it will get me to where I want to be and I want to take the players, my staff, this club with me.” That mirroring of Monk’s playing career is instructive. The 39-year-old – who took the Birmingham job earlier this month, after being sacked by Middlesbrough in December – was a YTS trainee at Torquay United, got his big Premier League move to Southampton, made winning appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal, but then dropped down the divisions before joining Swansea in League Two in 2004. Monk believes he Birmingham City can avoid relegation to League One Credit: Andrew Fox The rest, for the Swans, and for Monk, is glorious history, given the extraordinary upward journey they went on together and which ended, ironically, after a League Cup defeat to Birmingham in 2013. “We lost 3-1, it’s quite a coincidence,” Monk says ruefully, just a few months after he had lifted the trophy, the first in Swansea’s history, at Wembley. “Not that I was expecting it to be my last game. I think it was my testimonial year. If I completed that year, I got a testimonial. And after that I had a year left on my contract. The plan was to do the testimonial and then go and play somewhere for two or three years, probably move from Swansea. Obviously, that all changed. In at the deep end.” Later that season, with just 13 games left and sucked into the relegation battle, Michael Laudrup was sacked and Monk took over. Sound familiar? Monk arrived with Birmingham in the bottom three with just 11 games left. “It’s all about the belief,” Monk says. “You have to have everything else – desire, commitment, everything else, the right training, the right plan. "But you have to have that belief and you can either fear it or you can meet it head on. And my mentality has always been to meet it head on and part of the work we have been doing, is bringing that mentality into the club. To lift it to a different place. We have to change the mentality that has been here for the last couple of seasons. Time is against us. But just because of that what are we going to do? Are we going to go into our shell or are we going to fight?” Monk joined Birmingham City at the start of the month Credit: Andrew Fox There are more parallels for Monk – not least with his experience at Leeds. “This is a huge club and it’s got the history with it and having spoken to the owners there’s the capability of doing something good,” Monk says. “It’s the same thought process I had when I went to Leeds. A huge club, it’s had a difficult recent history. The last couple of years here have been about the threat of relegation. The same at Leeds. Not relegation-threatened but in the doldrums. In terms of where the club has been at – high turnover of managers, uncertain times – it is similar. “Can you get that on a better path? I look at it as – how can you turn down a huge club? And this is a huge club. Yeah, there’s the risk but my experience tells me what job do you get without risk? That kind of thing has never worried me.” So Monk got to work. He immersed himself in Birmingham’s season, watching three games a night, and set up a “short-term plan” for survival. “We are literally working on hours,” he explains. “You take foundations. Two or three points defensively, two or three offensively and concentrate on those. Set the standard. There are little things like we have a points system on training – at the end of this international break period there will be a reward for the top three players. We went go-karting and it had a few points on it and you saw that desire to win and you just have to keep building on that.” After losing his first two games – ironically against Middlesbrough and then to Cardiff City – Birmingham earned a precious 3-0 win over Hull City, just before the international break, and will face Ipswich Town this weekend. “The ultimate-confidence booster is results,” Monk says. “It’s great that we got that win but we need a lot more. We all know the capabilities of the squad and should not be in this situation. I’ve told them that and we’re under no illusions. I haven’t got a magic wand but there is a short-term plan and we have that clarity and everyone is reminded of it every day.” Monk made a name for himself after cutting his managerial teeth at Swansea City Credit: GETTY IMAGES Already being into his fourth managerial does not faze Monk but he adds: “I’m not a robot. I’m human. You have a staff to look after as well, and families, so there is emotion attached to it. But I am getting better at separating what’s important from what’s not important and making sure the emotions don’t over-ride.” It already seems a long way from Swansea where he was prematurely lauded as a future England manager. “I have never really paid attention to any of it,” Monk says. “It’s great when people speak good of you but it’s not the driving force. It’s understanding you are going to go on a journey and it’s understanding that, if anything, management is going to be even more critical, even more harsh than a playing career. But I am just enjoying it.”
Britain's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks at Birmingham City University in Birmingham, Britain, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Britain's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks at Birmingham City University in Birmingham
Britain's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks at Birmingham City University in Birmingham, Britain, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples
West Midlands Police has released historic images of crime suspects arrested more than 160 years ago. The series of police custody images believed to be among the oldest of their kind still in existence anywhere in the world. The black and white photographs of Isaac Ellery and Catherine Legge were taken by the then Birmingham City Police back in the 1850s and are accompanied with handwritten notes of suspected offenders.
Police release old photographs of criminals
West Midlands Police has released historic images of crime suspects arrested more than 160 years ago. The series of police custody images believed to be among the oldest of their kind still in existence anywhere in the world. The black and white photographs of Isaac Ellery and Catherine Legge were taken by the then Birmingham City Police back in the 1850s and are accompanied with handwritten notes of suspected offenders.
West Midlands Police has released historic images of crime suspects arrested more than 160 years ago. The series of police custody images believed to be among the oldest of their kind still in existence anywhere in the world. The black and white photographs of Isaac Ellery and Catherine Legge were taken by the then Birmingham City Police back in the 1850s and are accompanied with handwritten notes of suspected offenders.
Police release old photographs of criminals
West Midlands Police has released historic images of crime suspects arrested more than 160 years ago. The series of police custody images believed to be among the oldest of their kind still in existence anywhere in the world. The black and white photographs of Isaac Ellery and Catherine Legge were taken by the then Birmingham City Police back in the 1850s and are accompanied with handwritten notes of suspected offenders.
West Midlands Police has released historic images of crime suspects arrested more than 160 years ago. The series of police custody images believed to be among the oldest of their kind still in existence anywhere in the world. The black and white photographs of Isaac Ellery and Catherine Legge were taken by the then Birmingham City Police back in the 1850s and are accompanied with handwritten notes of suspected offenders.
Police release old photographs of criminals
West Midlands Police has released historic images of crime suspects arrested more than 160 years ago. The series of police custody images believed to be among the oldest of their kind still in existence anywhere in the world. The black and white photographs of Isaac Ellery and Catherine Legge were taken by the then Birmingham City Police back in the 1850s and are accompanied with handwritten notes of suspected offenders.
May challenged on UK fishing rights during transition Farage: Our fishermen are being sold down the river No update on Salisbury poisoning Jeremy Hunt to confirm pay rise for NHS workers after PMQs Theresa May has attacked Jeremy Corbyn over the purge of centre-left councillors by members of the campaign group Momentum, telling MPs that anyone looking to build more, tax less and combat anti-Semitism has “no place” in the Labour Party. In an exchange dominated by the issue of local council funding, Mrs May slapped down suggestions of financial mishandling, as she turned the spotlight on Labour’s own internal warring. It came after Mr Corbyn sought to exploit the recent controversy embroiling Tory-run Northamptonshire council to attack Mrs May’s record on local government, suggesting that the financial collapse of the authority was down to “incompetence” at either a local or national level. It comes after the local authority revealed it was close to effective bankruptcy and was unable to meet its financial obligations, with a Government report last week recommending that it should be partitioned into two new unitary councils. But in a withering response, Mrs May claimed that Labour’s own record was far from perfect, pointing to the recent toppling of long-standing Labour council leaders as evidence that the party was in disarray. Theresa May responds to Mr Corbyn's questions during Prime Minister's Questions "It would be helpful if he [Mr Corbyn] accurately reflected the independent statutory inspection...that Northamptonshire's failure is not a case of underfunding,” Mrs May told MPs. “He says his shadow local government secretary is supporting councils? I wonder if he's supporting...Haringey, where the Labour leader was forced out, Brighton, where the Labour leader was forced out, Cornwall, where the Labour group leader was forced out. “What had these people done? They had supported building more homes, providing good local services and tackling anti-semitism in the Labour party. “So the message is clear - if you believe in good local services, if you want to see more homes built and if you want to tackle anti-semitism, there is no place for you in the Labour party." Mrs May added that, contrary to Mr Corbyn’s claims, voters recognised that Conservative-run councils “cost you less”. Unconvinced, Mr Corbyn pointed to other Tory authorities which have allegedly entered into increasingly large contracts with private consultants at the same time as cutting back on in-house staff. They include Barnet Borough Council, where one firm, Capita, holds contracts with an estimated value of £500m. He added that, based on the current rates of central funding allocated, there would be a £5.8bn funding gap for councils by 2020. Returning fire, Mrs May returned to the issue of value for money, pointing out that the average council tax for a band D property is £100 less in Tory councils than it is under Labour. Jeremy Corbyn used his six questions to challenge Mrs May's record on local government In a tit-for-tat rebuttal, she also raised the track record of Labour-run Birmingham City Council, where industrial action by binmen last year saw “thousands of tonnes of waste on the streets”. “[Mr Corbyn] talks about tax,” she continued. “The top one percent of taxpayers are paying a higher burden than they ever paid under Labour. “He's supported a plan to stop local taxpayers having the right to stop tax hikes. He's supporting a plan to introduce a Land Value Tax...and he wants to introduce a Hotel Tax!" At the end of the exchange the Prime Minister took one final dig at Mr Corbyn for failing to mention the latest unemployment figures, released today, which show joint record high levels of employment. "Who do I think benefits from a strong jobs market? Labour staffers, Labour council leaders and moderate Labour Members of Parliament," she said. 12:50PM Order! That's it. Stay tuned for a summary of today's PMQs. 12:45PM Fishermen need a safety net Anne-Marie Trevelyan asks that Defra set up a financial mitigation scheme to protect UK fishermen in the event of quotas being changed during the transition period. Fresh from spectating on the Thames, Ms Trevelyan said there is "real concern" that the UK has lost its voice in the Common Fisheries Policy. It comes after the Government ceded to Brussel's demands earlier this week over the transition deal, meaning the UK will be bound by EU quotas until 31 December 2020. Mrs May says that the Government has secured assurances that the UK catch will not be changed, adding that Defra is following the issue closely. Earlier, the SNP's Drew Hendry appeared outraged by the CFP climbdown. However, Mrs May reminded him that if the SNP had received its wish the UK would have remained part of the EU, and by extension the CFP. Whoops. 12:37PM Will England fans be safe in Russia? Labour MP David Crausby asks what protection and security arrangements are in place for those fans travelling to this summer's Fifa World Cup in Russia. Mrs May says the Foreign Office will be monitoring the situation, with advice published before the tournament. Crausby (Lab): What is being done to support football fans in Russia for the World Cup? What is the advice? Will cooperation between our police and theirs help protect peoople? #PMQs— Simple Politics (@easypoliticsUK) March 21, 2018 12:34PM University VCs under fire Michelle Donelan, a member of the Commons education committee, says she was shocked by a panel of vice chancellors who gave evidence recently, who failed to see that their pay was out of sync with public opinion. She asks if VC pay will be part of the higher education review. Mrs May says pay is an issue for universities, which still exercise a large degree of autonomy. However, she says the new regulator the Office for Students will be looking into the matter as part of the review. 12:26PM Tory links to Cambridge Analytica The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford regurgitates today's coverage on the data company making all the wrong headlines, listing a number of associations between Conservative donors and former MPs and SLC, Cambridge's parent company. Mrs May says the Government has no contracts with Cambridge Analytica, but adds that the reports have been "very concerning". .@theresa_may says allegations relating to #CambridgeAnalytica are "clearly very concerning... It's absolutely right that they should be properly investigated." #PMQs— Andrew Woodcock (@AndyWoodcock) March 21, 2018 12:20PM Mrs May turns fire on the Momentum purge The Prime Minister points to Brighton, Haringey and Cornwall as evidence that centrist Labour-run councils are facing a purge by far-left individuals belonging to Momentum. She says that if you are committed to house building, driving down taxes and tackling anti-Semitism, you wouldn't join Labour. Mr Corbyn goes onto the claim the Tories are not building enough houses, while hikes in council tax are destroying high streets. May says the Conservatives have built more homes than Blair, adding that two Labour councillors from Ashfield defected to the Tories yesterday. She adds: "The average council tax for a band D property is £100 less under Conservative councils than it is under Labour. he says his shadow local government secretary is supporting councils? I wonder if he's supporting...Haringey, where the Labour leader was forced out, Brighton, where the Labour leader was forced out, Cornwall, where the Labour group leader was forced out. What had these people done? They had supported building more homes, providing good local services and tackling anti-semitism in the Labour party. So the message is clear - if you believe in good local services, if you want to see more homes built and if you want to tackle anti-semitism, there is no place for you in the Labour party." 12:13PM Corbyn seizes on Northamptonshire council crisis Is there a local election coming up by any chance? The Labour leader asks Mrs May whether "Conservative incompetence" at local level or national level is responsible for the council's financial woes. The Prime Minister fires back that voters know they pay less under Tory councils. She adds that the failure of Northamptonshire is not due to a lack of funding. "The attack that he is making, that this is about the money Government is providing, is not correct." Mr Corbyn disputes this, adding that Tory councils are relying on expensive consultants whilst cutting staff. Mrs May returns fire, stating that in Labour-run Birmingham streets were piled with rubbish due to mass industrial action by binmen. She then lists a number of Labour policies which, she says, would see taxes hiked. 12:06PM May grilled on rise in crime George Howarth raises issue of crime going up while spending on police and number of officers has gone down. Mrs May says that crime has actually fallen by 9 percent since 2010 in his constituency. She adds that police spending has been protected and will rise for the duration of this Parliament. 11:58AM No plaice for disagreement While Theresa May spends most of her time before PMQs prepping for questions from Jeremy Corbyn, today she will have devoted a few minutes to those likely to come from her own MPs. The Prime Minister's backbenchers are not happy about the decision to cave on fishing rights in this week's transition deal with Brussels. Some are so frustrated they've taken to the River Thames this morning (or rather the embankment) to cheer on fishermen flinging haddock in protest over the climbdown. Asked about the concession, Ms Truss said she could understand why MPs were angered. However she repeated the Government line - that things will change by 31 December 2021. She adds that the fishing industry has a champion in Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary. Tell that to fisherman Aaron, onboard the HMS Brexit this morning, who told reporters that Mr Gove had been "trying to put lipstick on a pig". Read more here. .@fishingforleave says fish having to be discarded because of ‘inept’ EU quota rules. The discard ban means fisherman have to stop fishing when lowest quota for one type of fish hit. New rules start in 2019 & “will cull the UK fleet” pic.twitter.com/B7PnJyJXHk— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) March 21, 2018 11:51AM Today's questions: A line-up Q1 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 21 March. Q2 Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South) Q3 Gareth Johnson (Dartford) Q4 Tom Pursglove (Corby) Q5 Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside) Q6 Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) Q7 Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey) Q8 Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne) Q9 Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) Q10 Sir David Crausby (Bolton North East) Q11 Mohammad Yasin (Bedford) Q12 Ellie Reeves (Lewisham West and Penge) Q13 Victoria Prentis (Banbury) Q14 Mrs Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) 11:47AM No plans for 1p on National Insurance One suggestion last week was that the Government would look at an additional 1p on National Insurance contributions as a means to increase funding for the health service. But Liz Truss says that is not in the pipeline. 11:42AM Shaking the magic money tree Liz Truss says that there is no money magic tree when asked about the 6 percent pay rise for NHS staff. She claims that the Chancellor Philip Hammond had laid the plans out in the Spring statement last week. But Andrew Neil is struggling to find detail, or how the Government intends to pay for it. The money, she says, is coming from a £4bn boost in productivity. Ms Truss says there were always plans to raise pay, providing the Government were able to secure a deal on driving down the number of sick days taken by NHS staff. However, plans to take a day's holiday off workers has now been scrapped. So what happens if productivity doesn't rise? The pay rises will happen regardless, she says. 11:39AM When you've got friends like these... Ahead of today's PMQs, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, is taking questions from Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics. Asked about President Trump's decision to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his election victory whilst failing to raise Salisbury, Ms Truss says earlier statements from Britain's allies had laid blame at Russia's door. However, she struggles to get around the issue - that the President failed to heed explicit warnings from his security advisers not to congratulate Mr Putin, and to condemn the attack. She adds that Mr Putin's policies are "disgraceful". Meanwhile, Labour MP Anneliese Dodds is struggling to explain Mr Corbyn's position on the poisoning, which, among other suggestions, includes sending a sample of the Novichok agent used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
PMQs: Theresa May says there is 'no place' left for Labour moderates in clash over local councils
May challenged on UK fishing rights during transition Farage: Our fishermen are being sold down the river No update on Salisbury poisoning Jeremy Hunt to confirm pay rise for NHS workers after PMQs Theresa May has attacked Jeremy Corbyn over the purge of centre-left councillors by members of the campaign group Momentum, telling MPs that anyone looking to build more, tax less and combat anti-Semitism has “no place” in the Labour Party. In an exchange dominated by the issue of local council funding, Mrs May slapped down suggestions of financial mishandling, as she turned the spotlight on Labour’s own internal warring. It came after Mr Corbyn sought to exploit the recent controversy embroiling Tory-run Northamptonshire council to attack Mrs May’s record on local government, suggesting that the financial collapse of the authority was down to “incompetence” at either a local or national level. It comes after the local authority revealed it was close to effective bankruptcy and was unable to meet its financial obligations, with a Government report last week recommending that it should be partitioned into two new unitary councils. But in a withering response, Mrs May claimed that Labour’s own record was far from perfect, pointing to the recent toppling of long-standing Labour council leaders as evidence that the party was in disarray. Theresa May responds to Mr Corbyn's questions during Prime Minister's Questions "It would be helpful if he [Mr Corbyn] accurately reflected the independent statutory inspection...that Northamptonshire's failure is not a case of underfunding,” Mrs May told MPs. “He says his shadow local government secretary is supporting councils? I wonder if he's supporting...Haringey, where the Labour leader was forced out, Brighton, where the Labour leader was forced out, Cornwall, where the Labour group leader was forced out. “What had these people done? They had supported building more homes, providing good local services and tackling anti-semitism in the Labour party. “So the message is clear - if you believe in good local services, if you want to see more homes built and if you want to tackle anti-semitism, there is no place for you in the Labour party." Mrs May added that, contrary to Mr Corbyn’s claims, voters recognised that Conservative-run councils “cost you less”. Unconvinced, Mr Corbyn pointed to other Tory authorities which have allegedly entered into increasingly large contracts with private consultants at the same time as cutting back on in-house staff. They include Barnet Borough Council, where one firm, Capita, holds contracts with an estimated value of £500m. He added that, based on the current rates of central funding allocated, there would be a £5.8bn funding gap for councils by 2020. Returning fire, Mrs May returned to the issue of value for money, pointing out that the average council tax for a band D property is £100 less in Tory councils than it is under Labour. Jeremy Corbyn used his six questions to challenge Mrs May's record on local government In a tit-for-tat rebuttal, she also raised the track record of Labour-run Birmingham City Council, where industrial action by binmen last year saw “thousands of tonnes of waste on the streets”. “[Mr Corbyn] talks about tax,” she continued. “The top one percent of taxpayers are paying a higher burden than they ever paid under Labour. “He's supported a plan to stop local taxpayers having the right to stop tax hikes. He's supporting a plan to introduce a Land Value Tax...and he wants to introduce a Hotel Tax!" At the end of the exchange the Prime Minister took one final dig at Mr Corbyn for failing to mention the latest unemployment figures, released today, which show joint record high levels of employment. "Who do I think benefits from a strong jobs market? Labour staffers, Labour council leaders and moderate Labour Members of Parliament," she said. 12:50PM Order! That's it. Stay tuned for a summary of today's PMQs. 12:45PM Fishermen need a safety net Anne-Marie Trevelyan asks that Defra set up a financial mitigation scheme to protect UK fishermen in the event of quotas being changed during the transition period. Fresh from spectating on the Thames, Ms Trevelyan said there is "real concern" that the UK has lost its voice in the Common Fisheries Policy. It comes after the Government ceded to Brussel's demands earlier this week over the transition deal, meaning the UK will be bound by EU quotas until 31 December 2020. Mrs May says that the Government has secured assurances that the UK catch will not be changed, adding that Defra is following the issue closely. Earlier, the SNP's Drew Hendry appeared outraged by the CFP climbdown. However, Mrs May reminded him that if the SNP had received its wish the UK would have remained part of the EU, and by extension the CFP. Whoops. 12:37PM Will England fans be safe in Russia? Labour MP David Crausby asks what protection and security arrangements are in place for those fans travelling to this summer's Fifa World Cup in Russia. Mrs May says the Foreign Office will be monitoring the situation, with advice published before the tournament. Crausby (Lab): What is being done to support football fans in Russia for the World Cup? What is the advice? Will cooperation between our police and theirs help protect peoople? #PMQs— Simple Politics (@easypoliticsUK) March 21, 2018 12:34PM University VCs under fire Michelle Donelan, a member of the Commons education committee, says she was shocked by a panel of vice chancellors who gave evidence recently, who failed to see that their pay was out of sync with public opinion. She asks if VC pay will be part of the higher education review. Mrs May says pay is an issue for universities, which still exercise a large degree of autonomy. However, she says the new regulator the Office for Students will be looking into the matter as part of the review. 12:26PM Tory links to Cambridge Analytica The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford regurgitates today's coverage on the data company making all the wrong headlines, listing a number of associations between Conservative donors and former MPs and SLC, Cambridge's parent company. Mrs May says the Government has no contracts with Cambridge Analytica, but adds that the reports have been "very concerning". .@theresa_may says allegations relating to #CambridgeAnalytica are "clearly very concerning... It's absolutely right that they should be properly investigated." #PMQs— Andrew Woodcock (@AndyWoodcock) March 21, 2018 12:20PM Mrs May turns fire on the Momentum purge The Prime Minister points to Brighton, Haringey and Cornwall as evidence that centrist Labour-run councils are facing a purge by far-left individuals belonging to Momentum. She says that if you are committed to house building, driving down taxes and tackling anti-Semitism, you wouldn't join Labour. Mr Corbyn goes onto the claim the Tories are not building enough houses, while hikes in council tax are destroying high streets. May says the Conservatives have built more homes than Blair, adding that two Labour councillors from Ashfield defected to the Tories yesterday. She adds: "The average council tax for a band D property is £100 less under Conservative councils than it is under Labour. he says his shadow local government secretary is supporting councils? I wonder if he's supporting...Haringey, where the Labour leader was forced out, Brighton, where the Labour leader was forced out, Cornwall, where the Labour group leader was forced out. What had these people done? They had supported building more homes, providing good local services and tackling anti-semitism in the Labour party. So the message is clear - if you believe in good local services, if you want to see more homes built and if you want to tackle anti-semitism, there is no place for you in the Labour party." 12:13PM Corbyn seizes on Northamptonshire council crisis Is there a local election coming up by any chance? The Labour leader asks Mrs May whether "Conservative incompetence" at local level or national level is responsible for the council's financial woes. The Prime Minister fires back that voters know they pay less under Tory councils. She adds that the failure of Northamptonshire is not due to a lack of funding. "The attack that he is making, that this is about the money Government is providing, is not correct." Mr Corbyn disputes this, adding that Tory councils are relying on expensive consultants whilst cutting staff. Mrs May returns fire, stating that in Labour-run Birmingham streets were piled with rubbish due to mass industrial action by binmen. She then lists a number of Labour policies which, she says, would see taxes hiked. 12:06PM May grilled on rise in crime George Howarth raises issue of crime going up while spending on police and number of officers has gone down. Mrs May says that crime has actually fallen by 9 percent since 2010 in his constituency. She adds that police spending has been protected and will rise for the duration of this Parliament. 11:58AM No plaice for disagreement While Theresa May spends most of her time before PMQs prepping for questions from Jeremy Corbyn, today she will have devoted a few minutes to those likely to come from her own MPs. The Prime Minister's backbenchers are not happy about the decision to cave on fishing rights in this week's transition deal with Brussels. Some are so frustrated they've taken to the River Thames this morning (or rather the embankment) to cheer on fishermen flinging haddock in protest over the climbdown. Asked about the concession, Ms Truss said she could understand why MPs were angered. However she repeated the Government line - that things will change by 31 December 2021. She adds that the fishing industry has a champion in Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary. Tell that to fisherman Aaron, onboard the HMS Brexit this morning, who told reporters that Mr Gove had been "trying to put lipstick on a pig". Read more here. .@fishingforleave says fish having to be discarded because of ‘inept’ EU quota rules. The discard ban means fisherman have to stop fishing when lowest quota for one type of fish hit. New rules start in 2019 & “will cull the UK fleet” pic.twitter.com/B7PnJyJXHk— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) March 21, 2018 11:51AM Today's questions: A line-up Q1 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 21 March. Q2 Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South) Q3 Gareth Johnson (Dartford) Q4 Tom Pursglove (Corby) Q5 Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside) Q6 Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) Q7 Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey) Q8 Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne) Q9 Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) Q10 Sir David Crausby (Bolton North East) Q11 Mohammad Yasin (Bedford) Q12 Ellie Reeves (Lewisham West and Penge) Q13 Victoria Prentis (Banbury) Q14 Mrs Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) 11:47AM No plans for 1p on National Insurance One suggestion last week was that the Government would look at an additional 1p on National Insurance contributions as a means to increase funding for the health service. But Liz Truss says that is not in the pipeline. 11:42AM Shaking the magic money tree Liz Truss says that there is no money magic tree when asked about the 6 percent pay rise for NHS staff. She claims that the Chancellor Philip Hammond had laid the plans out in the Spring statement last week. But Andrew Neil is struggling to find detail, or how the Government intends to pay for it. The money, she says, is coming from a £4bn boost in productivity. Ms Truss says there were always plans to raise pay, providing the Government were able to secure a deal on driving down the number of sick days taken by NHS staff. However, plans to take a day's holiday off workers has now been scrapped. So what happens if productivity doesn't rise? The pay rises will happen regardless, she says. 11:39AM When you've got friends like these... Ahead of today's PMQs, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, is taking questions from Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics. Asked about President Trump's decision to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his election victory whilst failing to raise Salisbury, Ms Truss says earlier statements from Britain's allies had laid blame at Russia's door. However, she struggles to get around the issue - that the President failed to heed explicit warnings from his security advisers not to congratulate Mr Putin, and to condemn the attack. She adds that Mr Putin's policies are "disgraceful". Meanwhile, Labour MP Anneliese Dodds is struggling to explain Mr Corbyn's position on the poisoning, which, among other suggestions, includes sending a sample of the Novichok agent used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
David Bentley still counts the night he pulled his hood up and sat on the train out of Finsbury Park station listening to excited Arsenal fans talking about the chipped goal they had just witnessed as one of the best moments of a career that was lived fast and finished early. Then aged 19, Bentley appeared to have the world at his feet after lofting the ball over Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area, but 10 years later he retired – fed up with a game that was no longer allowing him to smile. These days he splits his time between working for a football agency, managing restaurants and opening a new bespoke flooring business, GFF Bentley and Howell, in Stansted. It is almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Bentley, but the 33 year-old has not kicked a ball since the night in Cardiff when he decided it was all over and chief among the disappointments was his England experience. Such was the rigid nature of the England set-up, Bentley took to making his own fun by smuggling McDonald’s into the team hotel, taking advantage of manager Fabio Capello’s lack of English by calling the confused Italian Postman Pat and getting up to no good with his partner in crime Jimmy Bullard. He was meant to be the on-pitch heir to David Beckham’s England throne, but, in terms of breaking the rules, this was very much bend them like Bentley. “Capello didn’t want us to have ketchup,” said Bentley, who won seven full England caps. “I know that’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised what an effect that can have and you weren’t allowed to eat your dinner until the captain came in. It just didn’t work with us. “Everything that is beautiful about English people, our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously, was knocked out of us. Or at least they tried.” Gareth Southgate has had sweet treats taken off the shelves of the Starbucks inside St George’s Park, but Bentley has revealed how footballers will find a way of eating what they want. “You had to be in your bed at 10pm, it was bizarre,” said Bentley. “It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You had to go to your room and there was nothing to do, so I needed something to keep me occupied. David Bentley (right) was at one time considered the heir to David Beckham (left) Credit: AFP “Jimmy (Bullard) knocked on my door one of the nights we were staying in the team hotel, the Grove, and said he was hungry, so we decided to try to get a McDonald’s. “I had a friend who worked with me, so I called him up and told him to get a McDonald’s in. The security guards used to hang by the back door and then they used to go for a walk. So when they were having a walk, my mate got the McDonald’s past them in a Lucozade bottle bag – he just brought it in. I don’t think anyone ever found out.” Asked whether Bullard’s account of Bentley calling Capello Postman Pat to his face is true, the former midfielder said: “Yeah. I wasn’t going out to disrespect him, it was just to try to raise a smile. I hate silence, I prefer to see people enjoy themselves and not take it too serious. “He did look like Postman Pat. The thing is he didn’t understand a word of English, so he had no idea what I was going on about. I would go ‘alright Postman Pat’ and he wouldn’t have a clue, or I’d say ‘yes Postman Pat’ and he’d just carry on. All the boys would be laughing. “If you are tense and overthink it, you play rigid and that’s our problem, that’s England’s problem. The players play within themselves, they are not expressing themselves, they are just doing a job. Watch a foreign team and you can see the difference.” If Harry Kane misses out... In Bentley’s opinion, a stray muffin is the last thing Southgate needs to worry about at St George’s Park. “Everyone I speak to tells me St George’s Park is terrible, lacking character, lacking anything to do, no soul,” he said. “It sounds like a nightmare.” Bentley played all through the England age groups and became the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley, when he netted for the Under-21s against Italy in March 2007. But later that year he was accused of turning his back on his country, when Stuart Pearce claimed he pulled out of the Under-21 European Championships because of fatigue. “I had played 62 games that season and I got told by Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, I’m not playing for the Under-21s and I took the flak,” he said. “Did I tell anyone I was tired or fatigued? No, but that was the spin. “I rung up Stuart Pearce and fronted him up, whereas I know at least one player who was meant to be in the squad who just switched his phone off. I said, ‘look I’ve had a 62 game season and I’ve got the Intertoto that starts on June 25, and the tournament ends on June 28’. “Mark Hughes said ‘you’re not going’ and that I could do without the Under-21s. I followed his advice, even though I’d have quite liked to have gone, and I went on to have a great season, so it was the right decision.” David Bentley in action for England U21s against Italy Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Wembley crowd held the decision against Bentley, though, and booed him when he eventually made his senior debut as a substitute against Israel in September 2007. Asked if he felt hung out to dry by Pearce, he replied: “Yeah of course, that’s what they do isn’t it? They look for a scapegoat. Then I got booed on my debut and that wasn’t nice, and then there was always that stigma with me and England. “When you get crucified, how are you going to go home and enjoy what you do? How are you going to go out on the pitch and express yourself? You’re not. You just think, ‘I don’t need this’. I hate that mentality, but you almost can’t help it and I saw it when I was with England. “If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would probably win a World Cup or a Euros, but we never will with the mentality that’s there. They won’t win it this time, we haven’t got a chance.” Why Nick Pope must start in goal for England Despite being the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley and the first player to net a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Premier League while playing for Blackburn, Bentley accepts he will be remembered for his stunts as much as his achievements. “There are three things that people talk to me about when I meet them,” said Bentley “The goal for Tottenham against Arsenal, chucking water over Harry Redknapp and kicking a ball into a skip from the top of the Red Bull offices.” Bentley won the £15,000 watch off the wrist of his agent as part of a bet for finding the skip first time, and asked about pouring a bucket of water over Redknapp live on television after Tottenham qualified for the Champions League, he said: “The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it. It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly. “He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him. He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson. I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.” As his Spurs contract ran down, Bentley went on loan to Birmingham City, West Ham United, Rostov in Russia and finally Blackburn before deciding football was no longer for him. “I went back to Blackburn and I came off in a game against Cardiff and said ‘that’s the last game I’ll ever play’,” said Bentley, who spent three years in Spain immediately after retiring before returning to England last year. “My dad was in the stands and I told him ‘I’m done’. He said ‘you’ll be alright’ but I said ‘no I’m done’. “People are always wondering if I was depressed or something, but I just wanted to do something else. I’m fine. I had a great time. I did it the way I wanted. I went for it, got to the top and didn’t stay there for that long. I like that.”
David Bentley exclusive interview: Smuggling McDonald's, Fabio Capello's nickname and throwing water over Harry Redknapp
David Bentley still counts the night he pulled his hood up and sat on the train out of Finsbury Park station listening to excited Arsenal fans talking about the chipped goal they had just witnessed as one of the best moments of a career that was lived fast and finished early. Then aged 19, Bentley appeared to have the world at his feet after lofting the ball over Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area, but 10 years later he retired – fed up with a game that was no longer allowing him to smile. These days he splits his time between working for a football agency, managing restaurants and opening a new bespoke flooring business, GFF Bentley and Howell, in Stansted. It is almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Bentley, but the 33 year-old has not kicked a ball since the night in Cardiff when he decided it was all over and chief among the disappointments was his England experience. Such was the rigid nature of the England set-up, Bentley took to making his own fun by smuggling McDonald’s into the team hotel, taking advantage of manager Fabio Capello’s lack of English by calling the confused Italian Postman Pat and getting up to no good with his partner in crime Jimmy Bullard. He was meant to be the on-pitch heir to David Beckham’s England throne, but, in terms of breaking the rules, this was very much bend them like Bentley. “Capello didn’t want us to have ketchup,” said Bentley, who won seven full England caps. “I know that’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised what an effect that can have and you weren’t allowed to eat your dinner until the captain came in. It just didn’t work with us. “Everything that is beautiful about English people, our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously, was knocked out of us. Or at least they tried.” Gareth Southgate has had sweet treats taken off the shelves of the Starbucks inside St George’s Park, but Bentley has revealed how footballers will find a way of eating what they want. “You had to be in your bed at 10pm, it was bizarre,” said Bentley. “It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You had to go to your room and there was nothing to do, so I needed something to keep me occupied. David Bentley (right) was at one time considered the heir to David Beckham (left) Credit: AFP “Jimmy (Bullard) knocked on my door one of the nights we were staying in the team hotel, the Grove, and said he was hungry, so we decided to try to get a McDonald’s. “I had a friend who worked with me, so I called him up and told him to get a McDonald’s in. The security guards used to hang by the back door and then they used to go for a walk. So when they were having a walk, my mate got the McDonald’s past them in a Lucozade bottle bag – he just brought it in. I don’t think anyone ever found out.” Asked whether Bullard’s account of Bentley calling Capello Postman Pat to his face is true, the former midfielder said: “Yeah. I wasn’t going out to disrespect him, it was just to try to raise a smile. I hate silence, I prefer to see people enjoy themselves and not take it too serious. “He did look like Postman Pat. The thing is he didn’t understand a word of English, so he had no idea what I was going on about. I would go ‘alright Postman Pat’ and he wouldn’t have a clue, or I’d say ‘yes Postman Pat’ and he’d just carry on. All the boys would be laughing. “If you are tense and overthink it, you play rigid and that’s our problem, that’s England’s problem. The players play within themselves, they are not expressing themselves, they are just doing a job. Watch a foreign team and you can see the difference.” If Harry Kane misses out... In Bentley’s opinion, a stray muffin is the last thing Southgate needs to worry about at St George’s Park. “Everyone I speak to tells me St George’s Park is terrible, lacking character, lacking anything to do, no soul,” he said. “It sounds like a nightmare.” Bentley played all through the England age groups and became the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley, when he netted for the Under-21s against Italy in March 2007. But later that year he was accused of turning his back on his country, when Stuart Pearce claimed he pulled out of the Under-21 European Championships because of fatigue. “I had played 62 games that season and I got told by Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, I’m not playing for the Under-21s and I took the flak,” he said. “Did I tell anyone I was tired or fatigued? No, but that was the spin. “I rung up Stuart Pearce and fronted him up, whereas I know at least one player who was meant to be in the squad who just switched his phone off. I said, ‘look I’ve had a 62 game season and I’ve got the Intertoto that starts on June 25, and the tournament ends on June 28’. “Mark Hughes said ‘you’re not going’ and that I could do without the Under-21s. I followed his advice, even though I’d have quite liked to have gone, and I went on to have a great season, so it was the right decision.” David Bentley in action for England U21s against Italy Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Wembley crowd held the decision against Bentley, though, and booed him when he eventually made his senior debut as a substitute against Israel in September 2007. Asked if he felt hung out to dry by Pearce, he replied: “Yeah of course, that’s what they do isn’t it? They look for a scapegoat. Then I got booed on my debut and that wasn’t nice, and then there was always that stigma with me and England. “When you get crucified, how are you going to go home and enjoy what you do? How are you going to go out on the pitch and express yourself? You’re not. You just think, ‘I don’t need this’. I hate that mentality, but you almost can’t help it and I saw it when I was with England. “If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would probably win a World Cup or a Euros, but we never will with the mentality that’s there. They won’t win it this time, we haven’t got a chance.” Why Nick Pope must start in goal for England Despite being the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley and the first player to net a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Premier League while playing for Blackburn, Bentley accepts he will be remembered for his stunts as much as his achievements. “There are three things that people talk to me about when I meet them,” said Bentley “The goal for Tottenham against Arsenal, chucking water over Harry Redknapp and kicking a ball into a skip from the top of the Red Bull offices.” Bentley won the £15,000 watch off the wrist of his agent as part of a bet for finding the skip first time, and asked about pouring a bucket of water over Redknapp live on television after Tottenham qualified for the Champions League, he said: “The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it. It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly. “He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him. He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson. I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.” As his Spurs contract ran down, Bentley went on loan to Birmingham City, West Ham United, Rostov in Russia and finally Blackburn before deciding football was no longer for him. “I went back to Blackburn and I came off in a game against Cardiff and said ‘that’s the last game I’ll ever play’,” said Bentley, who spent three years in Spain immediately after retiring before returning to England last year. “My dad was in the stands and I told him ‘I’m done’. He said ‘you’ll be alright’ but I said ‘no I’m done’. “People are always wondering if I was depressed or something, but I just wanted to do something else. I’m fine. I had a great time. I did it the way I wanted. I went for it, got to the top and didn’t stay there for that long. I like that.”
David Bentley still counts the night he pulled his hood up and sat on the train out of Finsbury Park station listening to excited Arsenal fans talking about the chipped goal they had just witnessed as one of the best moments of a career that was lived fast and finished early. Then aged 19, Bentley appeared to have the world at his feet after lofting the ball over Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area, but 10 years later he retired – fed up with a game that was no longer allowing him to smile. These days he splits his time between working for a football agency, managing restaurants and opening a new bespoke flooring business, GFF Bentley and Howell, in Stansted. It is almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Bentley, but the 33 year-old has not kicked a ball since the night in Cardiff when he decided it was all over and chief among the disappointments was his England experience. Such was the rigid nature of the England set-up, Bentley took to making his own fun by smuggling McDonald’s into the team hotel, taking advantage of manager Fabio Capello’s lack of English by calling the confused Italian Postman Pat and getting up to no good with his partner in crime Jimmy Bullard. He was meant to be the on-pitch heir to David Beckham’s England throne, but, in terms of breaking the rules, this was very much bend them like Bentley. “Capello didn’t want us to have ketchup,” said Bentley, who won seven full England caps. “I know that’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised what an effect that can have and you weren’t allowed to eat your dinner until the captain came in. It just didn’t work with us. “Everything that is beautiful about English people, our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously, was knocked out of us. Or at least they tried.” Gareth Southgate has had sweet treats taken off the shelves of the Starbucks inside St George’s Park, but Bentley has revealed how footballers will find a way of eating what they want. “You had to be in your bed at 10pm, it was bizarre,” said Bentley. “It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You had to go to your room and there was nothing to do, so I needed something to keep me occupied. David Bentley (right) was at one time considered the heir to David Beckham (left) Credit: AFP “Jimmy (Bullard) knocked on my door one of the nights we were staying in the team hotel, the Grove, and said he was hungry, so we decided to try to get a McDonald’s. “I had a friend who worked with me, so I called him up and told him to get a McDonald’s in. The security guards used to hang by the back door and then they used to go for a walk. So when they were having a walk, my mate got the McDonald’s past them in a Lucozade bottle bag – he just brought it in. I don’t think anyone ever found out.” Asked whether Bullard’s account of Bentley calling Capello Postman Pat to his face is true, the former midfielder said: “Yeah. I wasn’t going out to disrespect him, it was just to try to raise a smile. I hate silence, I prefer to see people enjoy themselves and not take it too serious. “He did look like Postman Pat. The thing is he didn’t understand a word of English, so he had no idea what I was going on about. I would go ‘alright Postman Pat’ and he wouldn’t have a clue, or I’d say ‘yes Postman Pat’ and he’d just carry on. All the boys would be laughing. “If you are tense and overthink it, you play rigid and that’s our problem, that’s England’s problem. The players play within themselves, they are not expressing themselves, they are just doing a job. Watch a foreign team and you can see the difference.” If Harry Kane misses out... In Bentley’s opinion, a stray muffin is the last thing Southgate needs to worry about at St George’s Park. “Everyone I speak to tells me St George’s Park is terrible, lacking character, lacking anything to do, no soul,” he said. “It sounds like a nightmare.” Bentley played all through the England age groups and became the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley, when he netted for the Under-21s against Italy in March 2007. But later that year he was accused of turning his back on his country, when Stuart Pearce claimed he pulled out of the Under-21 European Championships because of fatigue. “I had played 62 games that season and I got told by Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, I’m not playing for the Under-21s and I took the flak,” he said. “Did I tell anyone I was tired or fatigued? No, but that was the spin. “I rung up Stuart Pearce and fronted him up, whereas I know at least one player who was meant to be in the squad who just switched his phone off. I said, ‘look I’ve had a 62 game season and I’ve got the Intertoto that starts on June 25, and the tournament ends on June 28’. “Mark Hughes said ‘you’re not going’ and that I could do without the Under-21s. I followed his advice, even though I’d have quite liked to have gone, and I went on to have a great season, so it was the right decision.” David Bentley in action for England U21s against Italy Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Wembley crowd held the decision against Bentley, though, and booed him when he eventually made his senior debut as a substitute against Israel in September 2007. Asked if he felt hung out to dry by Pearce, he replied: “Yeah of course, that’s what they do isn’t it? They look for a scapegoat. Then I got booed on my debut and that wasn’t nice, and then there was always that stigma with me and England. “When you get crucified, how are you going to go home and enjoy what you do? How are you going to go out on the pitch and express yourself? You’re not. You just think, ‘I don’t need this’. I hate that mentality, but you almost can’t help it and I saw it when I was with England. “If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would probably win a World Cup or a Euros, but we never will with the mentality that’s there. They won’t win it this time, we haven’t got a chance.” Why Nick Pope must start in goal for England Despite being the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley and the first player to net a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Premier League while playing for Blackburn, Bentley accepts he will be remembered for his stunts as much as his achievements. “There are three things that people talk to me about when I meet them,” said Bentley “The goal for Tottenham against Arsenal, chucking water over Harry Redknapp and kicking a ball into a skip from the top of the Red Bull offices.” Bentley won the £15,000 watch off the wrist of his agent as part of a bet for finding the skip first time, and asked about pouring a bucket of water over Redknapp live on television after Tottenham qualified for the Champions League, he said: “The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it. It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly. “He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him. He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson. I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.” As his Spurs contract ran down, Bentley went on loan to Birmingham City, West Ham United, Rostov in Russia and finally Blackburn before deciding football was no longer for him. “I went back to Blackburn and I came off in a game against Cardiff and said ‘that’s the last game I’ll ever play’,” said Bentley, who spent three years in Spain immediately after retiring before returning to England last year. “My dad was in the stands and I told him ‘I’m done’. He said ‘you’ll be alright’ but I said ‘no I’m done’. “People are always wondering if I was depressed or something, but I just wanted to do something else. I’m fine. I had a great time. I did it the way I wanted. I went for it, got to the top and didn’t stay there for that long. I like that.”
David Bentley exclusive interview: Smuggling McDonald's, Fabio Capello's nickname and throwing water over Harry Redknapp
David Bentley still counts the night he pulled his hood up and sat on the train out of Finsbury Park station listening to excited Arsenal fans talking about the chipped goal they had just witnessed as one of the best moments of a career that was lived fast and finished early. Then aged 19, Bentley appeared to have the world at his feet after lofting the ball over Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area, but 10 years later he retired – fed up with a game that was no longer allowing him to smile. These days he splits his time between working for a football agency, managing restaurants and opening a new bespoke flooring business, GFF Bentley and Howell, in Stansted. It is almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Bentley, but the 33 year-old has not kicked a ball since the night in Cardiff when he decided it was all over and chief among the disappointments was his England experience. Such was the rigid nature of the England set-up, Bentley took to making his own fun by smuggling McDonald’s into the team hotel, taking advantage of manager Fabio Capello’s lack of English by calling the confused Italian Postman Pat and getting up to no good with his partner in crime Jimmy Bullard. He was meant to be the on-pitch heir to David Beckham’s England throne, but, in terms of breaking the rules, this was very much bend them like Bentley. “Capello didn’t want us to have ketchup,” said Bentley, who won seven full England caps. “I know that’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised what an effect that can have and you weren’t allowed to eat your dinner until the captain came in. It just didn’t work with us. “Everything that is beautiful about English people, our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously, was knocked out of us. Or at least they tried.” Gareth Southgate has had sweet treats taken off the shelves of the Starbucks inside St George’s Park, but Bentley has revealed how footballers will find a way of eating what they want. “You had to be in your bed at 10pm, it was bizarre,” said Bentley. “It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You had to go to your room and there was nothing to do, so I needed something to keep me occupied. David Bentley (right) was at one time considered the heir to David Beckham (left) Credit: AFP “Jimmy (Bullard) knocked on my door one of the nights we were staying in the team hotel, the Grove, and said he was hungry, so we decided to try to get a McDonald’s. “I had a friend who worked with me, so I called him up and told him to get a McDonald’s in. The security guards used to hang by the back door and then they used to go for a walk. So when they were having a walk, my mate got the McDonald’s past them in a Lucozade bottle bag – he just brought it in. I don’t think anyone ever found out.” Asked whether Bullard’s account of Bentley calling Capello Postman Pat to his face is true, the former midfielder said: “Yeah. I wasn’t going out to disrespect him, it was just to try to raise a smile. I hate silence, I prefer to see people enjoy themselves and not take it too serious. “He did look like Postman Pat. The thing is he didn’t understand a word of English, so he had no idea what I was going on about. I would go ‘alright Postman Pat’ and he wouldn’t have a clue, or I’d say ‘yes Postman Pat’ and he’d just carry on. All the boys would be laughing. “If you are tense and overthink it, you play rigid and that’s our problem, that’s England’s problem. The players play within themselves, they are not expressing themselves, they are just doing a job. Watch a foreign team and you can see the difference.” If Harry Kane misses out... In Bentley’s opinion, a stray muffin is the last thing Southgate needs to worry about at St George’s Park. “Everyone I speak to tells me St George’s Park is terrible, lacking character, lacking anything to do, no soul,” he said. “It sounds like a nightmare.” Bentley played all through the England age groups and became the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley, when he netted for the Under-21s against Italy in March 2007. But later that year he was accused of turning his back on his country, when Stuart Pearce claimed he pulled out of the Under-21 European Championships because of fatigue. “I had played 62 games that season and I got told by Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, I’m not playing for the Under-21s and I took the flak,” he said. “Did I tell anyone I was tired or fatigued? No, but that was the spin. “I rung up Stuart Pearce and fronted him up, whereas I know at least one player who was meant to be in the squad who just switched his phone off. I said, ‘look I’ve had a 62 game season and I’ve got the Intertoto that starts on June 25, and the tournament ends on June 28’. “Mark Hughes said ‘you’re not going’ and that I could do without the Under-21s. I followed his advice, even though I’d have quite liked to have gone, and I went on to have a great season, so it was the right decision.” David Bentley in action for England U21s against Italy Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Wembley crowd held the decision against Bentley, though, and booed him when he eventually made his senior debut as a substitute against Israel in September 2007. Asked if he felt hung out to dry by Pearce, he replied: “Yeah of course, that’s what they do isn’t it? They look for a scapegoat. Then I got booed on my debut and that wasn’t nice, and then there was always that stigma with me and England. “When you get crucified, how are you going to go home and enjoy what you do? How are you going to go out on the pitch and express yourself? You’re not. You just think, ‘I don’t need this’. I hate that mentality, but you almost can’t help it and I saw it when I was with England. “If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would probably win a World Cup or a Euros, but we never will with the mentality that’s there. They won’t win it this time, we haven’t got a chance.” Why Nick Pope must start in goal for England Despite being the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley and the first player to net a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Premier League while playing for Blackburn, Bentley accepts he will be remembered for his stunts as much as his achievements. “There are three things that people talk to me about when I meet them,” said Bentley “The goal for Tottenham against Arsenal, chucking water over Harry Redknapp and kicking a ball into a skip from the top of the Red Bull offices.” Bentley won the £15,000 watch off the wrist of his agent as part of a bet for finding the skip first time, and asked about pouring a bucket of water over Redknapp live on television after Tottenham qualified for the Champions League, he said: “The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it. It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly. “He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him. He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson. I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.” As his Spurs contract ran down, Bentley went on loan to Birmingham City, West Ham United, Rostov in Russia and finally Blackburn before deciding football was no longer for him. “I went back to Blackburn and I came off in a game against Cardiff and said ‘that’s the last game I’ll ever play’,” said Bentley, who spent three years in Spain immediately after retiring before returning to England last year. “My dad was in the stands and I told him ‘I’m done’. He said ‘you’ll be alright’ but I said ‘no I’m done’. “People are always wondering if I was depressed or something, but I just wanted to do something else. I’m fine. I had a great time. I did it the way I wanted. I went for it, got to the top and didn’t stay there for that long. I like that.”
David Bentley still counts the night he pulled his hood up and sat on the train out of Finsbury Park station listening to excited Arsenal fans talking about the chipped goal they had just witnessed as one of the best moments of a career that was lived fast and finished early. Then aged 19, Bentley appeared to have the world at his feet after lofting the ball over Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area, but 10 years later he retired – fed up with a game that was no longer allowing him to smile. These days he splits his time between working for a football agency, managing restaurants and opening a new bespoke flooring business, GFF Bentley and Howell, in Stansted. It is almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Bentley, but the 33 year-old has not kicked a ball since the night in Cardiff when he decided it was all over and chief among the disappointments was his England experience. Such was the rigid nature of the England set-up, Bentley took to making his own fun by smuggling McDonald’s into the team hotel, taking advantage of manager Fabio Capello’s lack of English by calling the confused Italian Postman Pat and getting up to no good with his partner in crime Jimmy Bullard. He was meant to be the on-pitch heir to David Beckham’s England throne, but, in terms of breaking the rules, this was very much bend them like Bentley. “Capello didn’t want us to have ketchup,” said Bentley, who won seven full England caps. “I know that’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised what an effect that can have and you weren’t allowed to eat your dinner until the captain came in. It just didn’t work with us. “Everything that is beautiful about English people, our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously, was knocked out of us. Or at least they tried.” Gareth Southgate has had sweet treats taken off the shelves of the Starbucks inside St George’s Park, but Bentley has revealed how footballers will find a way of eating what they want. “You had to be in your bed at 10pm, it was bizarre,” said Bentley. “It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You had to go to your room and there was nothing to do, so I needed something to keep me occupied. David Bentley (right) was at one time considered the heir to David Beckham (left) Credit: AFP “Jimmy (Bullard) knocked on my door one of the nights we were staying in the team hotel, the Grove, and said he was hungry, so we decided to try to get a McDonald’s. “I had a friend who worked with me, so I called him up and told him to get a McDonald’s in. The security guards used to hang by the back door and then they used to go for a walk. So when they were having a walk, my mate got the McDonald’s past them in a Lucozade bottle bag – he just brought it in. I don’t think anyone ever found out.” Asked whether Bullard’s account of Bentley calling Capello Postman Pat to his face is true, the former midfielder said: “Yeah. I wasn’t going out to disrespect him, it was just to try to raise a smile. I hate silence, I prefer to see people enjoy themselves and not take it too serious. “He did look like Postman Pat. The thing is he didn’t understand a word of English, so he had no idea what I was going on about. I would go ‘alright Postman Pat’ and he wouldn’t have a clue, or I’d say ‘yes Postman Pat’ and he’d just carry on. All the boys would be laughing. “If you are tense and overthink it, you play rigid and that’s our problem, that’s England’s problem. The players play within themselves, they are not expressing themselves, they are just doing a job. Watch a foreign team and you can see the difference.” If Harry Kane misses out... In Bentley’s opinion, a stray muffin is the last thing Southgate needs to worry about at St George’s Park. “Everyone I speak to tells me St George’s Park is terrible, lacking character, lacking anything to do, no soul,” he said. “It sounds like a nightmare.” Bentley played all through the England age groups and became the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley, when he netted for the Under-21s against Italy in March 2007. But later that year he was accused of turning his back on his country, when Stuart Pearce claimed he pulled out of the Under-21 European Championships because of fatigue. “I had played 62 games that season and I got told by Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, I’m not playing for the Under-21s and I took the flak,” he said. “Did I tell anyone I was tired or fatigued? No, but that was the spin. “I rung up Stuart Pearce and fronted him up, whereas I know at least one player who was meant to be in the squad who just switched his phone off. I said, ‘look I’ve had a 62 game season and I’ve got the Intertoto that starts on June 25, and the tournament ends on June 28’. “Mark Hughes said ‘you’re not going’ and that I could do without the Under-21s. I followed his advice, even though I’d have quite liked to have gone, and I went on to have a great season, so it was the right decision.” David Bentley in action for England U21s against Italy Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Wembley crowd held the decision against Bentley, though, and booed him when he eventually made his senior debut as a substitute against Israel in September 2007. Asked if he felt hung out to dry by Pearce, he replied: “Yeah of course, that’s what they do isn’t it? They look for a scapegoat. Then I got booed on my debut and that wasn’t nice, and then there was always that stigma with me and England. “When you get crucified, how are you going to go home and enjoy what you do? How are you going to go out on the pitch and express yourself? You’re not. You just think, ‘I don’t need this’. I hate that mentality, but you almost can’t help it and I saw it when I was with England. “If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would probably win a World Cup or a Euros, but we never will with the mentality that’s there. They won’t win it this time, we haven’t got a chance.” Why Nick Pope must start in goal for England Despite being the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley and the first player to net a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Premier League while playing for Blackburn, Bentley accepts he will be remembered for his stunts as much as his achievements. “There are three things that people talk to me about when I meet them,” said Bentley “The goal for Tottenham against Arsenal, chucking water over Harry Redknapp and kicking a ball into a skip from the top of the Red Bull offices.” Bentley won the £15,000 watch off the wrist of his agent as part of a bet for finding the skip first time, and asked about pouring a bucket of water over Redknapp live on television after Tottenham qualified for the Champions League, he said: “The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it. It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly. “He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him. He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson. I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.” As his Spurs contract ran down, Bentley went on loan to Birmingham City, West Ham United, Rostov in Russia and finally Blackburn before deciding football was no longer for him. “I went back to Blackburn and I came off in a game against Cardiff and said ‘that’s the last game I’ll ever play’,” said Bentley, who spent three years in Spain immediately after retiring before returning to England last year. “My dad was in the stands and I told him ‘I’m done’. He said ‘you’ll be alright’ but I said ‘no I’m done’. “People are always wondering if I was depressed or something, but I just wanted to do something else. I’m fine. I had a great time. I did it the way I wanted. I went for it, got to the top and didn’t stay there for that long. I like that.”
David Bentley exclusive interview: Smuggling McDonald's, Fabio Capello's nickname and throwing water over Harry Redknapp
David Bentley still counts the night he pulled his hood up and sat on the train out of Finsbury Park station listening to excited Arsenal fans talking about the chipped goal they had just witnessed as one of the best moments of a career that was lived fast and finished early. Then aged 19, Bentley appeared to have the world at his feet after lofting the ball over Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the penalty area, but 10 years later he retired – fed up with a game that was no longer allowing him to smile. These days he splits his time between working for a football agency, managing restaurants and opening a new bespoke flooring business, GFF Bentley and Howell, in Stansted. It is almost a decade since Tottenham Hotspur paid Blackburn Rovers £15 million for Bentley, but the 33 year-old has not kicked a ball since the night in Cardiff when he decided it was all over and chief among the disappointments was his England experience. Such was the rigid nature of the England set-up, Bentley took to making his own fun by smuggling McDonald’s into the team hotel, taking advantage of manager Fabio Capello’s lack of English by calling the confused Italian Postman Pat and getting up to no good with his partner in crime Jimmy Bullard. He was meant to be the on-pitch heir to David Beckham’s England throne, but, in terms of breaking the rules, this was very much bend them like Bentley. “Capello didn’t want us to have ketchup,” said Bentley, who won seven full England caps. “I know that’s a small thing, but you’d be surprised what an effect that can have and you weren’t allowed to eat your dinner until the captain came in. It just didn’t work with us. “Everything that is beautiful about English people, our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously, was knocked out of us. Or at least they tried.” Gareth Southgate has had sweet treats taken off the shelves of the Starbucks inside St George’s Park, but Bentley has revealed how footballers will find a way of eating what they want. “You had to be in your bed at 10pm, it was bizarre,” said Bentley. “It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You had to go to your room and there was nothing to do, so I needed something to keep me occupied. David Bentley (right) was at one time considered the heir to David Beckham (left) Credit: AFP “Jimmy (Bullard) knocked on my door one of the nights we were staying in the team hotel, the Grove, and said he was hungry, so we decided to try to get a McDonald’s. “I had a friend who worked with me, so I called him up and told him to get a McDonald’s in. The security guards used to hang by the back door and then they used to go for a walk. So when they were having a walk, my mate got the McDonald’s past them in a Lucozade bottle bag – he just brought it in. I don’t think anyone ever found out.” Asked whether Bullard’s account of Bentley calling Capello Postman Pat to his face is true, the former midfielder said: “Yeah. I wasn’t going out to disrespect him, it was just to try to raise a smile. I hate silence, I prefer to see people enjoy themselves and not take it too serious. “He did look like Postman Pat. The thing is he didn’t understand a word of English, so he had no idea what I was going on about. I would go ‘alright Postman Pat’ and he wouldn’t have a clue, or I’d say ‘yes Postman Pat’ and he’d just carry on. All the boys would be laughing. “If you are tense and overthink it, you play rigid and that’s our problem, that’s England’s problem. The players play within themselves, they are not expressing themselves, they are just doing a job. Watch a foreign team and you can see the difference.” If Harry Kane misses out... In Bentley’s opinion, a stray muffin is the last thing Southgate needs to worry about at St George’s Park. “Everyone I speak to tells me St George’s Park is terrible, lacking character, lacking anything to do, no soul,” he said. “It sounds like a nightmare.” Bentley played all through the England age groups and became the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley, when he netted for the Under-21s against Italy in March 2007. But later that year he was accused of turning his back on his country, when Stuart Pearce claimed he pulled out of the Under-21 European Championships because of fatigue. “I had played 62 games that season and I got told by Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, I’m not playing for the Under-21s and I took the flak,” he said. “Did I tell anyone I was tired or fatigued? No, but that was the spin. “I rung up Stuart Pearce and fronted him up, whereas I know at least one player who was meant to be in the squad who just switched his phone off. I said, ‘look I’ve had a 62 game season and I’ve got the Intertoto that starts on June 25, and the tournament ends on June 28’. “Mark Hughes said ‘you’re not going’ and that I could do without the Under-21s. I followed his advice, even though I’d have quite liked to have gone, and I went on to have a great season, so it was the right decision.” David Bentley in action for England U21s against Italy Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Wembley crowd held the decision against Bentley, though, and booed him when he eventually made his senior debut as a substitute against Israel in September 2007. Asked if he felt hung out to dry by Pearce, he replied: “Yeah of course, that’s what they do isn’t it? They look for a scapegoat. Then I got booed on my debut and that wasn’t nice, and then there was always that stigma with me and England. “When you get crucified, how are you going to go home and enjoy what you do? How are you going to go out on the pitch and express yourself? You’re not. You just think, ‘I don’t need this’. I hate that mentality, but you almost can’t help it and I saw it when I was with England. “If we were allowed to express ourselves, we would probably win a World Cup or a Euros, but we never will with the mentality that’s there. They won’t win it this time, we haven’t got a chance.” Why Nick Pope must start in goal for England Despite being the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley and the first player to net a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Premier League while playing for Blackburn, Bentley accepts he will be remembered for his stunts as much as his achievements. “There are three things that people talk to me about when I meet them,” said Bentley “The goal for Tottenham against Arsenal, chucking water over Harry Redknapp and kicking a ball into a skip from the top of the Red Bull offices.” Bentley won the £15,000 watch off the wrist of his agent as part of a bet for finding the skip first time, and asked about pouring a bucket of water over Redknapp live on television after Tottenham qualified for the Champions League, he said: “The lads tried to get the chairman in the changing room and someone said ‘get the manager’ and it turned out he was being interviewed, so I went and did it. It was just a celebration, I wasn’t trying to make him look silly. “He wasn’t happy because he was trying to change his image and I went and chucked water on him. He wanted to be like Sir Alex Ferguson. I played loads that year and there was no problem between us, but then that was the end for me.” As his Spurs contract ran down, Bentley went on loan to Birmingham City, West Ham United, Rostov in Russia and finally Blackburn before deciding football was no longer for him. “I went back to Blackburn and I came off in a game against Cardiff and said ‘that’s the last game I’ll ever play’,” said Bentley, who spent three years in Spain immediately after retiring before returning to England last year. “My dad was in the stands and I told him ‘I’m done’. He said ‘you’ll be alright’ but I said ‘no I’m done’. “People are always wondering if I was depressed or something, but I just wanted to do something else. I’m fine. I had a great time. I did it the way I wanted. I went for it, got to the top and didn’t stay there for that long. I like that.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle urge schoolgirls to break gender stereotypes on International Women’s Day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle urge schoolgirls to break gender stereotypes on International Women’s Day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle urge schoolgirls to break gender stereotypes on International Women’s Day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle urge schoolgirls to break gender stereotypes on International Women’s Day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging schoolgirls to break down gender stereotypes by pursuing careers in science, maths and engineering. The Royal couple travelled to Birmingham to attend an event where young women are taking part in a range of activities from speed networking opportunities with local businesses to a panel discussion. The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an All Saints jumper. Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them. Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee. Mrs Gould said: "We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage." Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chat to two women on their visit to Birmingham Credit: Victoria Jones /PA Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: "Oh my God, it was worth the wait - I've missed my lecture." The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: "Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn't a problem." The visit is the latest leg in the regional tours the prince and his fiancee are undertaking in the run-up to their May wedding, and follows trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London. Meghan Markle talks to children as she arrives in Birmingham Credit: Chris Jackson /Getty The events are giving Ms Markle a personal education in the issues faced in parts of the UK and nationally, and complement the private visits she is regularly making to organisations as she gets to know the UK charity sector. Thursday's highly-anticipated visit comes after it emerged Ms Markle has reportedly been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England at a private ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Birmingham's visit began with the now familiar walkabout before Harry and Ms Markle chatted to young women as they took part in building apps and touchpads, before hearing more about their motivations to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Prince Harry beams as he chats to children in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes at Millennium Point, the event also offers information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics. Harry and Ms Markle started the event by trying virtual headsets with students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne School in Birmingham. The couple tried on the headsets, which resembled a virtual rollercoaster. Ms Markle asked the students what they wanted to do as a career and was impressed with the answers of surgeons and doctors. The pupils described the experience as surreal after the couple shook their hands and went on to other workshops. Meghan Markle hugs a schoolgirl in Birmingham Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph After finishing talking through various pieces of technology with the students, the pair sat together to listen to speeches from inspiring women in Stem industries. Ms Markle was shocked by some of the technology on display, including pianos made out of bananas and how to "hack the web". She told some students that the coding they were working on was very impressive, saying: "Wow, that's really cool." Meghan Markle chats to youngsters Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph Prince Harry shared his finance's thoughts and encouraged the talented students to go into careers in science and maths. The couple left the event after both were given a goody bag which said: "I am not just a bag, I am a Stemettes bag." They received a huge round of applause from the 90 female students as they made their way to their next event. The couple also gave prizes to three winners of a speech-writing competition in which they spoke about their most inspiring women. Harry and Ms Markle nodded in approval after each of the speeches and gave all three a generous clap at the end. Meghan Markle kneels as he chats to flag-waving children Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 - 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities. During the year-long apprenticeship, which now operates in 10 cities across the UK, young people learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Ms Markle is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries the prince and the couple will chat to the apprentices about their experiences of the programme, launched in Birmingham in March last year, before joining them in the sports hall as they deliver practice training sessions. Royal well-wishers brave cold to greet couple Well-wishers began gathering hours before the prince and his bride-to-be were due to appear at Millennium Point. Despite the cold and wet conditions some in the crowds were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the couple who have been touring the nation since their engagement announcement last year. Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle. Children wave flags as they wait to catch a glimpse of the royal couple Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Commenting on Harry's engagement to the American actress he said: "It will be different for her but I think they've learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she's getting married, I think it's really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do. "We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct." Schoolchildren await the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Retired teacher Josie Weeks, 62, from Leeds, got up at 5am to travel to Birmingham for the royal visit and carried a posy of white blooms for Ms Markle. She said: "I met the couple in Nottingham and just wanted to see them again and take some photographs. I think Harry's really coming into himself now with his charity work - he's stepped it up in the last few years. "The main thing is if he's happy with Meghan, that's all you want for him." Prince Harry: 'We want to get away from idea it’s all men in overalls and oily rags' On Wednesday, Prince Harry met young people from the Williams F1 Engineering Academy during a visit to Silverstone. Talking to female students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, both 15, who are studying there with the hope of going on to be engineers, he told them: “It’s a great choice, we want to get away from [the idea] that it’s all men in overalls and oily rags. “Do you think think that girls want to be [in engineering] and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?” “There are a lot of stereotypes,” said Tara. “What men covered in grease?” asked Harry. “Yes, but it's not like that. There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.” Duchess of Cornwall also marking International Women’s Day The couple are not the only members of the Royal Family to mark International Women’s Day. The Duchess of Cornwall will host a reception at Clarence House to celebrate the day, in her role as president of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World festival. Women Mean Business | Read about our campaign Guests are expected to include Annie Lennox, Mary Portas, Kate Mosse OBE, Fatima Manji, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Kathy Lette, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Baroness Valerie Amos, Jo Swinson MP and Jess Phillips MP. Telegraph Women Facebook Group banner
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh 'So many times in my entrepreneurial career, I’ve been told I couldn’t do something; that, somehow, being a woman made me less able to undertake certain challenges than my male counterparts. The thing that really sticks in my mind, is raising my first round of investment for Notonthehighstreet. I remember my co-founder Sophie Cornish and I, two (relatively!) young women, approaching male investors, and quickly being dismissed as ‘girls’ who wanted to start a craft retail site. We were told countless times that it wouldn’t work out; that, somehow, we were deemed more of a risk, because we were female retail fanatics. Suffice to say, each time I was told I couldn’t do something, it drove me to work harder. Each ‘no’ made me more determined to succeed, to prove the closed-minded naysayers wrong. I’m lucky enough that the first investor saw past gender and saw the future. To this day, he’s my mentor, biggest fan and life friend.' Natasha Stromberg, Founder of Genderbuzz Natasha Stromberg Credit: Genderbuzz ‘I became deeply frustrated by the Venture Capital scene in the U.K so I spoke to a Canadian friend of mine who introduced me to a Female tech Portfolio manager in Canada and I went out to see her to discuss my idea. She loved it and absolutely thought it had potential. It was the first time my idea had been seen as truly viable by someone in the venture capital world.' Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame fitness studio Frame Fitness Studios Founders Joan Murphy and Pip Black Credit: Langley 'When Joan and I came up with the idea of Frame back in 2007, we were told that no one would help to fund a fitness business that went against the age-old strategy of "sell as many memberships as you can and hope that as few as possible of these members actually turn up." But we believed so strongly in the positive effects of getting people moving and making it an enjoyable experience that we worked all the hours putting together an in-depth business plan which allowed us to convince the bank that investing significant money into a pay-as-you-go fitness start-up run by two women in their mid 20's with no prior experience, was actually a good idea! So money in the bank we set about building Frame Shoreditch, and here we are 10 years later with six sites in London and more on their way.' Women Mean Business call to action
From Mary Portas to Karren Brady - what it's really like being a businesswoman in Britain
Women Mean Business banner Numerous studies - including exclusive new research by the Telegraph published to mark the launch of the 'Women Mean Business' campaign - have shown that female entrepreneurs in Britain find it harder to access startup funding. Indeed, only nine per cent of all UK startup money goes to women-led businesses each year, despite women owning 33 per cent of business is in Britain and a further one in eight wanting to become entrepreneurs. But behind the numbers there are human stories. Women - whether young and just starting out, or leaving corporate roles to start their own projects - are facing hurdles. Here, some prominent female founders tell us about the obstacles they overcame on the road to success... Baroness Karren Brady Baroness Karren Brady Credit: Rii Schroer 'When I took over Birmingham City in 1993, I was just 23-years-old. Being a woman, and a young woman, in the Nineties in a male dominated environment had its challenges. At my first press conference, I did a serious presentation about the club, its financial situation and more importantly what I planned to do about, it as well as what my ambitions were for it. When I was finished and I asked the press if they had any questions. I only got one: “what are your vital statistics?”. Clearly that was all they were interested in. At my first away game, I asked the steward on the door where the directors’ boardroom was and he pointed me to the ladies room. The steward presumed I was a director’s wife. When I politely pointed out I was the Managing Director, he told me to wait where I was and he would “find out what to do with me”, as in 1993 women were not allowed in the boardrooms of football clubs. I always say it was the first door I kicked down, and held open as long and as wide as possible to get as many other women through it!' Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet The founder of Mumsnet Justine Roberts Credit: Geoff Pugh 'In the early days of Mumsnet, before the internet bubble burst I put together a business plan and began to tout it around. It was a bruising experience - many investors were sceptical to say the least - I just didn't fit the mould of young, male, business school grad and investors seemed unable to grasp the possibility that a mother might be the best CEO for a start-up based on my own idea and designed for other mothers. 'One German investor said authoritatively: “When you fail, give me a call and I will give you a job on my website” - they went bust 12 months later. Another told me that he liked my idea but that there was a fundamental problem. Namely, me. Had I "thought about recruiting an experienced CEO to run the company instead?" Even now that Mumsnet has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited social networks in the UK I still get investors asking me who we have to run the business side of things.' Dame Helena Morrissey Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management Credit: Andrew Crowley 'A great many people told me the 30% Club would fail. My hope was to create a campaign to achieve a real breakthrough in board diversity, to reach at least 30 per cent women directors. The approach would be collaborative, working with men, through voluntary actions. There were numerous counter-arguments – ‘we need legislation’, ‘it’s all been tried before’, ‘this is not a business issue’ - even after the financial crisis had so painfully demonstrated the risks when directors were similar and familiar. One day, a FTSE 100 chairman snapped at me ‘You’re going to destroy British business!’ That was just so wrong in every sense that it simply increased my resolve. Since then, the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has increased from 12.5 per cent to over 28 per cent. There are now no all-male boards. More importantly, the mindset has shifted – diversity is now seen as part of what it takes to be a modern company.' Mary Portas, Broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'We underestimate the role of instinct and intuition on business. Most great businesses are built on vision and instinct, but often investors ignore this side of things. That's where the disconnect comes, because women often work on instinct whereas men often just want to talk data.' 'I just thought why do I have to play this game, I'm going to do things differently, my own way, but even when you do that it's very difficult to unshackle yourself from the way things have always been done, the way men have always done things.' Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Nicola Elliot, founder of Neom Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 'There needs to be more inspiring men doing job shares, taking extended paternity or seeing it as a valuable and worthwhile thing to do 50:50 childcare in the home, I think this is one of the biggest issues for my female friends, they just don’t have the time and support they need and are still expected to do the lions share of the family tasks. That means pushing on with any career is incredibly hard.' Jo Fairley, Co-founder of Green & Blacks Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Blacks and The Perfume Society, and author Credit: Martin Pope 'Women bring an intuition. We have a better sense of what will probably work. We’re not going to do something completely off the wall. [Our ideas] might not seem as bold as covering the entire Arizona desert in solar panels or whatever, but possibly we’re more pragmatic and practical.” The game is still played according to the rules laid down by the dinosaurs, where you’ve got to be at work for 18 hours a day, you’ve got to go to client dinners every night. And women just go you know what, I don’t really want that.” I think part of women not wanting to progress in larger organisations is because they’re going ‘I want to create a role for myself where I am in charge of my destiny and in charge of my time.' Ella Mills, entrepreneur and author, Deliciously Ella Ella Mills, also known as food blogger Deliciously Ella Credit: Jeff Gilbert 'I never thought I’d have the ability to start my own business. It’s not something I’d ever been encouraged to even consider growing up and therefore it felt way beyond the realms of possibility. Once I did start, I was dismissed by a lot of people, but fortunately, I also had a great close support group who greatly encouraged me. I’m passionate now about providing support to those females who aren’t lucky enough to have a support group like I did, and we must all pull together, both men and women, to ensure we do everything we can to support more female founders. There is no reason for men to be more funded or backed, and I hope to play a part in creating that positive change.' Rebekah Hall, Founder Botanics Cold Pressed Juices Rebekah Hall 'Human nature is to put people in pigeon holes, but I've always pushed against that. I spent 10 years in a profession that is assumed to be the bastion of testosterone filled men. A CEO of a well known luxury goods business once told me that the only way I was going to have the kind of job I wanted was to start a business myself. Corporate financiers don’t run businesses, particularly consumer ones. He hadn't meant them as words of encouragement, but I went on to found a business that is helping to shape the (consumer) category of healthy drinks in the UK. Among those cries of “you can’t” were voices of support. My mum, who taught me the tenacity that has taken me this far, but also the 2 investors that provided me with the capital and mentorship to navigate this difficult journey. They are both men incidentally.' Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder of Bumble Founder of dating app Bumble, and co-founder of Tinder Whitney Wolfe 'Launching Bumble was one of the toughest, but most rewarding decisions of my life. When I look back to where I was three years ago, it's as though I'm a totally different person. The social impact we've been able to have as a brand is the most rewarding output you can wish for as a CEO, and I wouldn't change anything about the journey I've been on - despite Bumble being born out of experiences that were both professionally challenging and personally draining for me. I was told repeatedly by people – especially by investors, who statistically are majority male – that an idea and a mind-set like the one we’ve created with Bumble (encouraging kindness, respect and equality) wouldn’t be possible, and that it has no revenue potential. Through this journey I met Andrey Andrev (my business parter) who really believed in the vision, my passion and the need for a product like Bumble within the dating space. He gave us the resources to bring Bumble to life - something that wouldn't have been possible without him. This experience really defined for me what feminism should be about - supporting each other as individuals- irrespective of gender. This needs to evolve to create spaces where the playing field is levelled - equal thinking, equal access to opportunity, a seat at the table for everyone. No stigmas, no preconceptions, no opinions formed by social conditioning - we need all people, of all genders, races and ethnicities being treated fairly.' Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founders of Everywoman Karen Gill and Maxine Benson 'Twenty years ago, we were extremely enthusiastic at the prospect of starting our own enterprise. However, time and time again we were actively discouraged, specifically with one business advisor telling us not to bother as it would be much harder work than we could anticipate, we would struggle to find investment and ultimately would probably fail. This stark introduction to the barriers women faced when starting a business inspired us to start everywoman. We recognised that there was a need to connect, champion and inspire women in business, highlighting the successes women achieve when given the tools and encouragement to do so. From an idea triggered by being told we couldn’t, everywoman is now a network of thousands and reaches over 100 countries. We have hosted over 50 awards programmes inspiring the next generation of female talent, we are proud to have a plethora of Ambassadors that actively support our vision and we are in the process of our second funding round. Twenty years on, it turns out we could.' Holly Tucker, Co-founder notonthehighstreet Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet in her shop/space for creative small businesses , Holly & Co Credit: Geoff Pugh