Why do people think that the brewery is in trouble because of the actions of Humphrey Smith , the brewery has been around a lot longer than Humphrey has been here and i'm sure will be here long after he has gone, ( sorry if this is not of the opinion of everybody on here).
A very valid point. I would assume that the brewery in itself, is very profitable. Maybe some of the venues (pubs, etc..) are not, or not as profitable as they could be. I'm sure the overall asset value of 'the brewery' and estates are quite immense. But is a business successful, simply because of it's financial worth and profit?
The business as a whole, will also command a high operating overhead - and so if profit margins are relatively small per unit (low cost beer), then a decrease in turnover, could hit the business quite hard. As the 'Unlimited' company has a financial liability on it's owner directors (Humphrey and Oliver), then they may not bee too keen to see their personal asset worth deteriorate - especially as they will have already lost a lot recently with the overall estate decreasing value.
Some companies would consider themselves less than successful if, despite having a healthy trading profit, they were in some ways moving backwards - i.e. getting a sliding reputation, decreasing sales, etc.
I think everyone would agree with me when I say, that there's no getting away from the fact that the brewery produce some fantastic products, whilst maintaining a traditional grounding of a past-popular and very successful business. And even Humphrey of course, has paid a leading role in maintaining those high standards, making not only their produce, but also their venues and employees, generally very popular with the paying public.
However, when such a successful, and popular business starts to lose grip of it's own traditional, hard-worked for values, and 'top reputation' longevity - it just seems a crying shame - especially when the cause is from the same person who did something very different, not too long ago.
Yesterday, a few of us were debating all of this (over a beautiful pint of Sovereign), and concluded that one possibility would be that in the past, some one, or some people, have taken advantage over Humphrey (and/or Oliver's) past good nature and trust. This may have happened on more than one occasion, rendering the brothers paranoid, and over-reactive.
If this possibly proved to be true in anyway, then it's a shame that the actions of one or just a few, are making things miserable for so many more - including the brothers themselves.
Finally, as Hollybush states - if it can happen to Woolworths...!