03/06/2015

Cranfield School of Management MBA alumnus (1999), Tehsin Nayani, has launched his first book, The Glazer Gatekeeper, which recounts six fascinating years of a particularly controversial period of time for Manchester United.

Countless words have been devoted to the Glazers’ ownership of one of the world’s most iconic football clubs. Most, if not all, have relied on supposition and speculation rather than fact. Tehsin Nayani, the Glazers' spokesman for six years, has now placed on record how the owners and club hierarchy went about running Manchester United.

As well as an insight into the business workings of the football club the book provides a communications case study for anyone interested in going into business.

Tehsin Nayani served the Glazer family between 2005 and 2011 as press spokesman and advisor in relation to their ownership of Manchester United. Prior to this he was a director of a London financial public relations agency where he advised the boards of several multinational corporations. Before moving into public relations Tehsin spent a decade as a business television journalist for the Financial Times, CNBC Europe and Reuters, where he interviewed an array of world business leaders in his capacity both as an on-air correspondent and a senior producer

For Tehsin, the MBA (which he completed at the School of Management in 1999) was important in honing much of the skillset required for his working for the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United. He says that Cranfield taught him the core business principles. “It also stressed the importance of ‘softer’ people skills which proved invaluable, especially in my dealings with the world’s press,” he recalls.

He looks back on the crisis communications programme presented by Dr Stephen Carver as particularly enlightening. “When I commenced the MBA I was already a seasoned, even somewhat cynical, financial journalist, having worked for Financial Times Television, CNBC and Reuters. Dr Carver’s lectures opened up my mind to how much thought and preparation needed to be invested in dealing with the press.

“Little did I imagine that some six years’ later I would find myself at the centre of one of the world’s largest media storms when representing the American Glazer family who ‘dared’ to buy the iconic Manchester United. During my subsequent six years as their spokesman I had to endure relentless controversy and perceived crisis; it’s this remarkable situation that I seek to capture in my book, The Glazer Gatekeeper, which, I hope, will provide a case study for any business leader who has to deal with the media.”

He also remembers the usefulness of Dr Ruth Bender’s engaging finance lectures. “Dr Bender’s mantra that ‘debt is cheaper than equity’ rang true when I sought to communicate the complex leveraged buyout the Glazers used to acquire Manchester United.”

“Also, Cliff Bowman’s thought-provoking lectures on Strategy gave me a thorough insight into why Manchester United would have been of so much potential to investors; something I would champion as I travelled across the globe with the team to raise the club’s corporate profile.”

For more information about the book, visit the website: http://theglazergatekeeper.com/