Texas Rangers shortstop Hanser Alberto pops a giant bubble with his bubble gum while playing against the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photograph: Nathan Denette/AP

After thirty-seven games of blood, sweat and tears, the 2015/2016 Barclays Premier League season comes to an end this afternoon. The main matters at both ends of the table have already been decided, so all that is left to be resolved is whether Tottenham can finish above their arch-rivals Arsenal for the first time in 21 years and which of Manchester's giants, City or United, will miss out on Champion's League qualification. Whilst the 2015/2016 season will always be remembered for Leicester's success, the season will also be remembered as the first in which no English manager finished in the top half of the table and a season which has also seen the fewest number of English managers surviving to the final whistle. Twenty years ago there were seventeen Englishmen managing in the country’s top league. Today there are only three. This can be put into context by a quick comparison with the other major European leagues. Eighteen of the twenty managers in Serie A are Italian; fourteen of the twenty managers in La Liga are Spanish and eighteen of the twenty Ligue 1 managers are French. Football managers are a hunted breed at the best of times. English bosses just appear to be having the worst of it at present.

What do you do when you have your Business Alliance Members over from Australia for a week? You set up wall-to-wall meetings with the UK property industry’s elite. You take them to see some of the most high profile schemes in London that have been recently acquired or developed by their Aussie compatriots. And you take them to HMP Brixton for breakfast. The jokes are just too obvious, but on Wednesday morning about fifty Liverymen of The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors (plus guests including two rather bewildered Australians) enjoyed breakfast at The Clink Restaurant in Brixton Prison. The Clink is an opportunity for prisoners nearing the end of their sentence to learn catering skills which will assist them in obtaining work when they are released. The primary aim of the scheme is to cut recidivism rates and the scheme is already working. The chances of an inmate who works at the restaurant reoffending is more than thirty per cent less than average. The Clink is a unique experience, the food and service are excellent and the skills being taught to the inmates are making a difference to the rest of their lives. If you are thinking of something different for your next corporate ‘do’, you could certainly do a lot worse than a quick trip to prison.

In case you missed it, last night saw the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden. Eurovision is famous mainly for two things, outrageous performances and heated geo-political rows, but somehow it has remained popular the world over. Almost 200 million watched Sweden triumph last year, whilst last night saw the contest aired in the United States and China for the very first time. So how has Eurovision survived so long? It probably has something to do with the fact that it keeps reinventing itself every year and this year was no different…apparently. A new voting system was introduced and Australia, yes Australia, was a guest participant. The last time we checked, Australia wasn’t in Europe and is located closer to the South Pole than Stockholm! Is it unreasonable to think that before too long every country on the planet will be allowed to join in 'the fun'? Just imagine how painful the results process would be!

Comment