Racing: Wakeham under fire

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The Independent Online
Mark Johnston yesterday stood by his broadside against the British Horseracing Board chairman, Lord Wakeham, to whom he demanded: "Stop telling us how good you are and start showing us," writes Ian Davies.

The trainer is "disappointed with the performance" of the former Cabinet minister but stops short of calling for his replacement. Johnston attacked Lord Wakeham's style of leadership in his column in the Sporting Life, claiming: "A good leader must lead by example not domination. A good leader should earn respect not try to impose it. Respect does not come with a title or a position."

Johnston was angry at what he sees as complacent dismissal of the BHB chairman's critics and stands by his article, which he denied was a personal attack on Lord Wakeham. He said: "I wrote it myself and I stand by it. I don't know Lord Wakeham because we don't see enough of him at the grass roots of racing. The main thing is that I don't accept that we should be talked down to and told we don't know what we are talking about. We employ this man and we pay his wages and I am disappointed with his performance.

"I am not saying that he should be sacked but, as I said, he should stop telling us how good he is and start showing us. He shouldn't tell us that racing's problems are our fault. The buck stops with him."