Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Tom Scott: “nothing Else Would Have Tempted Me Back”

Tom Scott: “nothing Else Would Have Tempted Me Back”

Tom Scott says "nothing else would have tempted me back" into the day to day full-time running of a major business after taking over as Worcestershire's new interim CEO.

Scott founded the Cotswold Group – the UK's leading company in surveillance, fraud and intelligence services – in 1990 and then sold it to G4S 21 years later at a time when it employed more than 300 full-time staff.

But his love for Worcestershire, whom he used to support as a young lad and then sponsored for three years from 2009 via the Cotswold Group, has led to him taking over the reins from David Leatherdale until at least September.

Here Tom, in a question and answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website, looks back at his cricketing memories, his spell sponsoring the club and the challenges that lie ahead for the County.

Question: You have been a Worcestershire supporter all your life, what are your first memories of the club?

Tom Scott: "Well I first came to the club as an 11-12 year old. If you were clever, you could ride your bike down to the river just by the ground and there was a hole in the fence and we would sneak through that hole!

"I've still got to this day scorecards, autograph books from that era and Glenn Turner and Vanburn Holder were my heroes at the time at Worcestershire.

"I played my cricket at Nunnery Wood but tried to get to New Road as much as I could and making sure I didn't get my bike stolen while I was inside the ground!

"It was 1971, 192 onwards in the days of the John Player League that I started to go regularly. We used to play on the outfield during the breaks in play which was the highlight of the day.

"At that age you don't really know what is going on but looking back on it now, and even when I see kids on the outfield now, it makes me incredibly happy to see that nothing has changed."

Question: What inspired you to come to New Road in the first place?

Tom Scott: "My dad did play club cricket after the Second World War and he was a keen follower and he got me into cricket.

"I played at school. Mr Barlow was the cricket coach at school and he gave us some proper coaching in the nets, to bat in the right way, and I just liked it and liked cricket.

"But once I left school, I joined the police force and moved away from Worcester so the visits to New Road were not as often."

Question: Who was the Worcestershire player who really inspired you?

Tom Scott: "Glenn Turner without doubt because he was so prolific, he had the style and he had the time and he was just a class act.

"He was a really elegant player but he could also hit the ball if he wanted to. He was a model professional.

"I have this vague memory of a John Player League game when we scored over 300 and Glenn got runs and I remember thinking 'how can you score that many runs in a day.' I will never forget that game (v Derbyshire at New Road in 1975).

"It was a turning point for me in how cricket was perceived. It was 'that slow game' up to that point but to get 300 in an innings was something else – and would still be a good score now."

Question: Did you keep in touch with events at New Road when you moved away from the area?

Tom Scott: "I would always come back and when I had children, I would bring them to the ground. With my job, I did a lot of travelling around the country so my time was limited but I always kept in touch.

"I followed the scores every day in the newspapers and on television and radio so I never lost touch with the club. I've always been an avid supporter.

"But it wasn't until the early to mid 1990s that I started to get back into the club and in 2009 I wrote to David (Leatherdale) and said is this an opportunity for me (to replace Apollo 2000) as the main sponsor (with the Cotswold Group).

"David (then commercial director) was over in minutes with Mark Newton (CEO) and I told him of my love for the club and how proud I would be to sponsor the club and we made an arrangement and that's what happened.

"It was the proudest moment to think that I could actually get to a point where I could sponsor the club, having dreamt of playing for the club which was never going to happen."

Question: Who did you play cricket for? Tom Scott: "I just played schools cricket and then I carried on after that playing club cricket in Gloucestershire.

"To be honest I could never commit the time. I never had a regular pattern of work that I could commit to playing."

Question: Even before this CEO role, you have been involved with the club?

Tom Scott: "The sponsorship ended when I sold my business. The business I sold mine too weren't into sponsorship.

"But then I was invited to go onto the informal Strategic Group at New Road which has been a great experience."

Question: Now you are Interim CEO, that must be a fantastic challenge?

Tom Scott: "It is a real challenge because David Leatherdale's shoes are so big to fill. I know that has been said before but they are.

"He has been at the club for 30 years, know the club inside out, and I don't but the club has got real promise, it's in a really good shape, the cricket is really good shape, the academy is in really good shape.

"I've got an opportunity in the time I'm here, the next six to nine months, to build a solid administration unit to support the cricket club.

"As I've said to everyone I've spoken to so far, this is all about Worcestershire Cricket Club.

"We've all got a common goal, and that is to make Worcestershire Cricket Club successful, and as chief executive you are given that opportunity to drive the business on but also for the cricket to mature and I genuinely do think we are going to have a really good season."

Question: Presumably only your love for Worcestershire persuaded you to come back into a full-time role?

Tom Scott: "I've had many offers to work full-time and I've turned them down and when this opportunity arose and I was approached, I was so excited I said 'yes' but nothing else would have tempted me back

"It gives me an opportunity to understand in more detail the workings of the club and I'd like to make a difference and just to build on what David has achieved which is an incredible achievement.

"We are considered one of the smaller clubs so we've been punching above our weight with our ground development.

"With the cricket side of things, we tend to go up (to Division One of the County Championship) and come down and I know top of Bumpy's priority list is to go up and stay up.

"With the youthful squad we've got, which is now maturing, I truly believe that will happen. I really do."