Super league super-flop, hot-desking bank bosses and 2030 ‘certainties’

Planet Business: A week of streaming hangovers and elite grovelling

Image of the week: Legacy fandom

Outside Anfield on Monday, feelings about Liverpool FC's involvement in the not-so-beautiful attempt to form a new European Super League (ESL) could scarcely have been much clearer, though to save anyone zooming in on the picture above, the note next to the customised shirt reads: "FSG [Liverpool's US owners Fenway Sports Group] can have this shirt. It used to remind me of [Bill] Shankly and all that he stood for, now it just reminds me of corporate greed killing footy. Give us our game back!!!" Maybe, now that FSG chief John W Henry has issued a grovelling apology, the shirt can be reclaimed? Presumably whoever left it was a "legacy fan" – a term apparently used by some of the elite backers and financiers of the proposed closed-shop league to distinguish everybody who has contributed to the coffers to date from their desired "fans of the future".

In numbers: Sluggish streamer

16 million

Subscribers Netflix added in the first quarter of 2020, which saw vast regions of the world go into pandemic lockdowns and sob uncontrollably as their lives were reduced to watching Tiger King.

4 million


Considerably more modest net growth in subscribers in the first quarter of 2021. “The pandemic streaming party has firmly come to an end,” said PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore.

208 million

Impressive number of subscribers Netflix now has worldwide. But it is forecasting growth of only one million in the current quarter amid a “lighter content slate” due to Covid-19 production delays. Well, there’s always football.

Getting to know: HSBC bosses

HSBC bosses have been "forced to hot desk", according to the Financial Times and various other news reports, after the 42nd floor of the bank's tower in Canary Wharf, London, was switched from being an "executive floor" to a "collaborative space". The instigator of this devilish plan is HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn, who has also abolished his own office and will be hot-desking it on the open-plan 40th floor along with other privacy-deprived execs. His thinking is that the offices were "empty half the time because we were travelling around the world", and that as such it was "a waste of real estate". Under the post-pandemic hybrid working model, he has no plans to be in the building five days a week, so the same applies. Please spare a thought for HSBC's non-execs, now forced to "grab" the valuable commodity of a desk in competition with top brass and spend the day with their beady eyes upon them.

The list: Things that will happen by 2030

A rash of people and companies are understandably looking forward to what KBC Bank this week referred to as “the coming future”, and one date is cropping up more than most: the end of this (so far) cursed decade.

1. Tram plan. The Dublin Luas extension to Finglas might be accepting passengers in about 2030, according to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, meaning it will definitely happen.

2. Grass ambition. The All England Club, which owns the Wimbledon tennis Grand Slam, is to build a new 8,000-seater show court that will be ready to host matches in 2030.

3. Football coming “home”. A joint British-Irish bid to host World Cup 2030 is in the works, but there are many compelling rival bids and we won’t find out the winner until 2024.

4. Going electric. Carmaker Ford says that by 2030 it will only be selling electric cars in Europe. We're going to need more charging points.

5. Carbon neutrality. An Post says it is on track to be carbon neutral by 2030, which would be faster than many Irish companies, but five years slower than a KitKat bar.