'"AAA? Caaaarm down!" said Lord Robbie Fowler.' These were the reassuring words I so desperately wanted to read when the UK had its credit rating downgraded by Moody's last month. In response to the news there was an unconvincing attempt by George Osbourne to downplay the downgrade's significance. But with Robbie Fowler at the helm of our stuttering economy we could indeed have 'caaaaarmed down'. I would finish the article here but somehow I feel you are not yet convinced by my water tight theory, so I shall continue.
For the uninitiated, Robbie Fowler is an ex-footballer from Liverpool, best known for his time playing for the red half of that great city (that's right, I said 'great city' so you Liverpudlians can't get angry about my mildly offensive opening lines.....honestly don't get offended, please). After a successful career that has included 162 Premier League goals, 26 caps for England, and a barnstorming stint in Australia during his twilight years, it was reported this week that Robbie has now launched his own academy; not a football academy but a 'property academy'.
The story goes that, not content with being a stupendously well remunerated footballer, Robbie spent his Premier League days building a diocese of dwellings in the North East. Today he is reported to own more than 80 rental properties and be worth a staggering £28m. His latest venture is to offer classes to the next generation of potential property investors drawing on his own experiences. 'But he was an overpaid footballer!' I hear you cry. 'I could build a successful property empire if I was paid the cost of a Robert Mugabe birthday party every week!' you say, cleverly referencing the Zimbabwe leaders' recent 89th birthday celebrations. Well, that is where you may well be wrong my friend because in the world of ex-professional footballers, Robbie Fowler is uncommonly successful. Still unconvinced? Then let me hit you with these two facts:
1. It was reported this week that three out of five former Premier League footballers declare bankruptcy within five years of retirement. The list of victims includes well known former players such as Lee Hendrie, Paul Merson and Keith Gillespie.
2. The tone on Nokia phones when receiving a text message is 'SMS' in morse code! (Admittedly, this has nothing to do with the article but you must concede, that is a pretty good fact!)
In a world where 60% of the inhabitants are said to declare bankruptcy, but one can amass a fortune of £28m, Robbie Fowler must be a genius. That is why the only reasonable and logical response is to make him a new government advisor on the economy - and in the age of celebrity policy 'tsars', why not?
We've had reality TV stars Lord Alan Sugar and Mary Portas so why not ex-Premier League star Robbie Fowler? Sure, he has had his fair share of controversy, particularly his infamous fake cocaine sniffing goal celebration in the late nineties, but this only convinces me further that he would get along well with the lads down at Westminster. Whilst we're at it, why not add Lindsay Lohan as the new 'justice tsar' (due to her long and varied experience of the system), Liam Neeson as the new 'defence tsar' (he will find you and he will kill you) and Brian Cox as the new 'just the loveliest man tsar'?
Joking aside, in these hard economic times I do genuinely think the success and ambition of people like Robbie Fowler should be saluted. For our economy to get going again we are going to need people investing in a big way. So I say, arise Lord Fowler, arise Lord Neeson and arise Great Britain!