I think I may have stumbled on how Paul ‘Boy Wonder’ Barber rose to the
dizzy heights of Inchcape group corporate affairs director at the tender
age of 29. It is a case, my friends, not of the old school tie, but of
the old soccer scarf.
Barber, it seems, is an all-weather sports fan. Winter sees him cheering
on Tottenham Hotspur and Saracens Rugby Club while summer finds him
urging on Middlesex Cricket Club.
Coincidentally, it seems, new chief executive Philip Cushing also likes
his outdoor activities, particularly as demonstrated by Tottenham
Hotspur, Middlesex Cricket Club and...Saracens Rugby Club. Suspicious,
some might call it, although Barber laughs off suggestions that the
shared allegiance swung the balance in his favour, saying merely: ‘It
certainly shows good judgement to pick a Spurs supporter.’
However, his meteoric rise through the Inchcape ranks, may have reached
its zenith. New chairman Sir Colin Marshall is, it emerges, a keen
supporter of Spurs’ arch-rival, Arsenal, and, on 13 April, the two north
London clubs meet up.
As Barber says, with some trepidation: ‘If we win I think I’ll steer
clear of Sir Colin for a while.’