Well here are two likely lads in dark glasses and it looks like they’re off to the races – not the Royal Enclosure though.
On the left with the finely polished top is none other than Paul John Hayward, aka Paul Hilton, aka Hong Kong Paul but he is actually at a gathering of football supporters.
One the right is former Hong Kong bar manager Irishman Mickey Doherty turned supremo of the Eclipse Restaurants and Eclipse Management Group in Bangkok and Hong Kong – a harmless name for a group which has been taking over the sleaze in Bangkok, and Pattaya.
Still, among its subsidiaries is a company called Eros.
It’s a far cry from Hayward’s rounds checking on bar owners in the red light area of Nana Plaza, Bangkok, where he holds the lease through a company called the Nana Group and CIMB bank, or holding court in his ‘QBar’ – But maybe he has come for a bit of adulation.
His business friends, the four other members of the ‘Bangkok Five’ the top boiler room scammers in Bangkok, seem to be dropping like flies.
Glendon Bullard, who owned the leases on seven bars in the plaza dropped dead in Pai, Mae Hong Song province of Thailand in March, just two weeks after his wedding.
Mark Hutcherson who was the subject of a kidnap attempt in Bangkok several years ago, when he laughably claimed to be an oil man, is also reported shot dead in the United States, but this is as yet unconfirmed, and faking one’s death is not unheard of in the boiler room business, and finally Paul Richard Bell died of a long illness last year.
That leaves only Hayward and Jack Fletcher Prather, also American, left from the old bunch of cowboys from a boiler room called Premium Placements.
Still these guys alone could be worth US$100 million apiece from the many ‘share dealing’ ventures they have been involved in (but not of course on paper). They appear to own swathes of Third World countries and small estates in the First World.
Hayward has of course been doing his best to cover up his ‘boiler room’ image, now posing as a club owner and land dealer (The Nana Group was formed from Eclipse Management and technically Shane Smith, the brother in law of the late Glen Bullard is the paper boss).
Covering up means merely moving the operations out of town – in some cases out of country but boiler rooms have been operating even more comfortably since the new Thai military government took over – ‘pon prayote’ as the Thais say. ‘Everybody benefits’.
That is, of course, everybody apart from the thousands of victims who have lost their life savings handing them over to virtual ‘brokerages’ such as Jackson and Cole. Several thousand of those were British.
Still the sun is out and Hayward is enjoying his role as the boss of an English football club – not officially of course. Just as in Thailand he has nominees hold his shares for him. Perhaps he does not want to undergo the Football League’s ‘Fit and Proper’ test. I don’t know why. It’s hardly rigid. British football will take cash from anywhere.
He has been trying to sell out recently.
If I were a buyer I might wait until the club goes for song. If the FA gets its teeth into it the board may have to give it away. The Chairman of this club is like Hayward a Brummie..
Hayward has sending Eclipse’s cash back to the U.K. to buy footballers. Five million pounds of it.