Public don’t trust me because they’re JEALOUS, says Sir Philip Green
British public don’t trust me because they’re JEALOUS, says Sir Philip Green as he comes out fighting against his customers and insists he WON’T quit after 11th hour reprieve for Arcadia
- Sir Philip’s Green Arcadia empire was saved by a deal with landlords yesterday
- He shrugged off criticism of his conduct, blaming the media for his unpopularity
- He says his business made money ‘for a long time’ but fell off in the last two years
Sir Philip Green came out swinging this morning after his retail empire narrowly avoided falling into administration.
The shopping tycoon, often pictured on his £115million yacht or alongside supermodels at gala events, insisted people who don’t trust him are just ‘f****** jealous’ and blamed the media for his flagging public image.
An eleventh hour rescue package agreed yesterday will pave the way for a raft of store closures at Arcadia , which owns brands such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge, putting around 1,000 jobs at risk.
However, it means a more secure future for most of the chain’s 18,000 staff and its 9,000 pension fund members.
Sir Philip Green says the British public don’t trust him because they are ‘f****** jealous’
Green spends a lot of his time on his £115million yacht Lionheart in the Mediterranean, but insists it is his portrayal in the media makes the public jealous
In an interview with the BBC’s Simon Jack this morning, a bullish Sir Philip was asked why the British public don’t trust him.
He replied: ‘Because you lot make them all f****** jealous! That’s why, it’s quite basic. But these people writing all this s*** couldn’t spell fifty quid. They all get jealous.
‘As for someone who can actually write out a cheque and actually writes one out, people don’t like it.’
He was challenged about having taken £1.2billion out of his Arcadia empire, but fired back: ‘That was 14 years ago!’
He did however admit that ‘the market place as we all know, has fundamentally changed forever’.
He added: ‘Whether we haven’t changed quickly enough or we had too many shops or whatever. I think it’s a combination of things, but the bottom line is you can’t make it all right.
‘For a long time the company made a lot of money. Literally, only the last couple of years it fell off.’
Green pictured with his wife Tina and daughter Chloe at one of the many gala events he has attended in recent years
Green, pictured with Beyonce and Cara Delevingne in 2014. His retail empire has narrowly avoided falling into administration
Green spoke after his firm avoided falling into administration when its landlords agreed a rescue package.
Plans to save Sir Philip’s Arcadia Group, which owns brands such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge, were approved at a knife-edge meeting in London yesterday.
It means the group will shut around 50 of its 566 stores and will receive rent reductions on hundreds more as it desperately tries to slash costs and get the business back on track.
Last night Sir Philip, 67, thanked everyone who supported the proposals including landlords, suppliers and the pensions regulator. He said: ‘Our suppliers have been beyond wonderful. They stood loyal and didn’t waver. Obviously I feel happy for all the staff and everyone associated with the business.
‘I and the board and my family are wonderfully appreciative of all the people who voted positively to help get this through.
‘It shows they have faith in us and now we have to deliver.’ Sir Philip faced a major battle in winning support, needing the approval of 75 per cent of voters including landlords, suppliers and pension trustees. He also needed the approval of the pensions regulators.
Arcadia also owns Miss Selfridge, 23 branches of which will close under a restructuring
Arcadia is the company behind Topshop (pictured), Wallis, Burton and a raft of other brands
Sir Philip was forced to postpone the rescue meeting last week after reaching a stalemate with landlords, some of whom opposed his plans, which involve accepting big cuts in the rent Arcadia pays.
Sir Philip and his wife Tina, who is Arcadia’s ultimate owner, had to offer more than £300million in cash contributions and security to safeguard 9,000 members of the retirement scheme before The Pensions Regulator agreed to sign off the plan.
However, last night critics sought further assurances that Arcadia’s pension fund would not suffer the same fate as that of BHS. The department store collapsed with a £571million pension black hole in 2016, a year after Green sold it for £1. He later plugged the scheme with £363million from his own fortune.
Frank Field, an independent MP and chairman of the Commons’ work and pensions committee, called on Sir Philip and Lady Green to make a binding promise that Arcadia’s pensioners will get their full pensions.
He said: ‘The committee will try to ensure that the Pensions Regulator gets an effective programme in place to ensure that Arcadia staff receive in full the pensions that Sir Philip and Lady Green promised them.’
Sir Philip has seen his reputation suffer in recent years. He is currently at his home in Monaco as he tries to fight off assault charges in the US.
Arcadia’s reprieve comes as it and other High Street chains battle with crippling business rates.
John Webber, head of business rates at property firm Colliers, said: ‘Unless something is done, Arcadia won’t be the end of this story.’
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