Professor Provost Nigel Savage is stepping down from the University of Law. He will add "Emeritus President" to his list of titles. His business card must be a foot long.
RollOnFriday and Prof Sauvage have had their differences over the years. Chiefly because he didn't much like our publishing the fact that he was paid the thick end of half a million a year to run an educational charity. The UoL claimed that it had been benchmarked, but refused to say against whom. Nor did he appreciate our breaking the news that he was flogging off the UoL to a private equity house which would then rape its sorry arse while he sat back and spent more time with his millions.
Still, it should all be in a day's work. He's not the first CEO to be irritated by the press, we're all old and ugly enough not to take it personally. So when I saw him one evening at a bar in the City, I bounded up and shook his hand. The conversation went as follows.
NS (smiling broadly) - I know we've met many times before but I've just got a blank on your name.
MR - I'm Matthew Rhodes from RollOnFriday.
NS (withdrawing his hand) - I'm not shaking your hand. I'm not talking to you.
MR - Come on Nigel. Ed Fennell tells me you're an interesting chap and thinks we'd get on quite well. Can I buy you a drink?
NS - I'm not having a drink with you. Not after all those horrible things you write about me.
MR - You have your job to do, I have mine, I think it's fair enough that we query your remuneration. But that's the day job, and there's no reason why we shouldn't have a beer.
NS - No.
MR - Here's my card. Let's have some lunch and discuss this.
NS - I'll take your card, but I'm not going to call you.
And he never did.
Nigel's made a huge amount of money and come a very long way, if you'll forgive the pun, for someone who started off stimulating turkeys for a living. He may not be big on the old charm but as he'd probably say, he couldn't give a fook. His replacement is likely to
be less Millwall FC in his attitude to the press, but my life will be a little less colourful as a result. Best of luck to him.
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