Tempus Chairman Ingram in £64m Transfer from WPP to Woking Football Club

07 February 2002

The wonderful world of soccer – in which the fragility both of egos and job security make the ad industry resemble a transcendental meditation session – today reported a new and surprising signing: Chris Ingram, the former chairman and largest individual shareholder of Tempus.

Ingram (58), without a role since his company’s ingestion last year by WPP Group, is said to have collected £64 million from the takeover. His future career appears set as owner and chairman of Woking Football Club where, according to club vice chairman John Buchanan, Ingram will meet next Tuesday with shareholders to finalise the deal.

Woking is not exactly Premiership material, languishing in the Conference League – exactly four tiers below the soccer summit. But the Conference League’s top team is promoted at the end of each season to the next rung of the ladder, the Football League's third division, provided its home ground meets minimum required standards.

However, Ingram has not set his sights [yet] on the Premiership. Explains Buchanan: “It’s his hobby. He's not planning to do a Jack Walker or a Max Griggs [two ambitious club-owning tycoons who pumped millions into their hitherto unsuccessful teams]. He’s just offered to help put us on a sounder financial footing. As football becomes a bigger business, it needs business brains behind it, and we're hoping Chris's expertise in that area will help us out.”

Ingram, a former pupil at Woking Grammar School, has lived most of his life in the leafy London commuter suburb. He also supports Manchester United – whose £357 million market valuation is a tad beyond even Ingram’s ample pocket.

News source: Financial Times