Barry Hearn, founder of Matchroom Sport, gives a candid insight into his career and shares his strong views about the sports industry on this week's episode of SB Weekly.
As a sports promoter Barry’s been a prominent figure on the UK sporting scene for a number of decades, first with snooker in the 1970s, then with boxing in the 1980s followed by darts in the 1990s. He was also chairman of Leyton Orient football club from 1995 to 2014.
Though his son Eddie now manages Matchroom’s interests in boxing, Barry’s still very much involved in snooker - as the owner of World Snooker, the world governing body’s commercial arm - and darts, as chairman of the PDC, the Professional Darts Corporation.
You can hear Barry talk about such things as...
...the secrets of his success
"I'm tough to beat on work ethic. I like to win and I know most of my opposition won't make the same amount of effort."
...his public perception
"Behind the barrow boy is a chartered accountant - I'm a freak with figures and live for balance sheets."
"At the moment my word still counts for something. But I'm sure it will start to count less and less."
...sitting at the negotiation table
"It's like being with your dentist: you grab his testicles and say, 'Neither of us are going to hurt each other, are we?'"
...his foray into football
"I like to think I'm this tough guy, but I must have a soft centre...my heart and my wallet merged together"
...the secrets to promoting a sports event
"It's so easy; it's pure common sense...but you'd be surprised by how many get it wrong."
...sports industry snobbery
"People look at me, thinking, 'Darts? Those fat blokes throwing those things? It's not like that down my rugby club'. It really pisses me off."
"Many want to buy it, but I'd never sell it. If I did, what would I do? Could you see me as a PLC chairman? Come on."