Fayed's meal meetings

Saturday 23 February 2002

The mountain comes to Mohamed Fayed when the big issues involving the Premier League are being discussed.

The Fulham owner doesn't rate the regular Premiership chairmen's meetings as a forum for significant talks - his only appearance since his team joined English football's elite was a brief helicopter visit to the summer summit - so, instead, he invites the other powerbrokers to lunch in the Georgian restaurant at Harrods.

The first guests were Aston Villa's Doug Ellis, Arsenal's David Dein, Charlton's Richard Murray, West Ham's Terry Brown and Tottenham's Daniel Levy, while Ipswich's David Sheepshanks and Southampton's Rupert Lowe attended the second meal with Fayed this week.

Fulham spokesman Chester Stern said: 'The chairman believes the crowded Premier-ship shareholders' meetings aren't an effective discussion place and he doesn't like sitting there for two hours or so.

'He's not attempting to be a maverick leader, he just prefers the more intimate talks he can have around the meal table at Harrods.

'The gatherings have proved a great success with the talks centering on important matters like the standard of referees, TV rights and stadium branding.'

The chairmen can order what food they want from the Harrods kitchen while Fayed enjoys his favourite truffles along with the football talk. A third lunch has been planned, with Leeds' Peter Ridsdale and Chelsea's Ken Bates on the guest list, which will be a lively affair as Bates and Fayed are not exactly soul-mates.

Source: Soccernet