book review

What You See Is What You Get

October 2, 2010
By Harry Harris
(Archive)

Rating:

"Harry, thanks for all your support during my football days."

Lord Sugar: Owned Tottenham Hotspur from 1991 to 2001
OtherLord Sugar: Owned Tottenham Hotspur from 1991 to 2001

That is how Lord Sugar signed his personal copy of his autobiography, What You See Is What You Get, to me when I became one of the first journalists to be given a look at it.

I get three mentions in Lord S's book, mostly all good, but all typically Alan Sugar - sorry, Sir Alan Sugar ... sorry, Lord Sugar. Who knows what next?

Having lived through most of the big stories in Sugar's life and times in football as Spurs chairman, the book was something of a personal record of events.

Okay, it might sound biased, but I really enjoyed Sugar's book - sorry, Lord Sugar's book - packed full of his inside knowledge of the game, as well as the inside track on his life, his business and, of course, The Apprentice.

I know I had better give him a good review or he will fire across an email telling me I'm fired. Well, he's going to get a good review. There is value for money, 600 pages, and because he has opted to write it himself - no ghost writer - you can actually hear him speak, as it were. Having listened to him long enough, believe me, this book tells it as he sees it.

He might not seem an endearing character. Ask Terry Venables and all of his cohorts. But there is a soft side to him. I have seen it. He has an adorable wife, Anne, and a lovely family. He dotes on his grandchildren.

While his book was going through the serialisation process with a national newspaper, I had already read the full account of his life story, and was exchanging some emails, telling him that I thought he had got one or two very amusing stories slightly wrong.

Lord S's response: "It's your memory that's wrong, not mine, mate - can assure you."

I had an insider's role when Sugar was in control of Spurs and, for that reason, my exclusives were spot on. I knew what was going on.

In his book, Lord S tells us about how his director Tony Berry contacted Glenn Hoddle to offer him the Spurs job before it went to Ossie Ardiles. I don't think so. It was me! Berry might have also asked Hoddle, but I asked him first!

When I picked Lord S up on this, he was adamant I had got it wrong. My memory against his. Piers Morgan was my editor at the Daily Mirror for about seven years, and through my introduction Lord Sugar became a firm friend of Piers, and indeed a columnist on the paper.

When Lord S refers to the help he received from Piers during one of his court cases, I insisted it was me he called, and I had got him the important information.

Lord S replied: "Sorry, you are wrong. Piers found cuttings using some tool they had at the Mirror. It was 6am and he called me back with it at 7am and you are not even up that time and what b*****ks."

Well, I was up that time, and it looks like I was the tool at the Mirror!

However, I am not going to hold that against Lord S. This is a book well worth the knockdown price on Amazon.