Simon Jordan has revealed how he once splashed the cash on an ultra-rare McLaren supercar… in a deal with the Sultan of Brunei!
The former Crystal Palace owner says he paid out £372,000 for a bespoke Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, which was owned by the ruler of the sovereign state.
Simon Jordan once did a deal with the Sultan of Brunei… who knew?[/caption]
Why were we talking about Mr Jordan’s lavish spending habits on talkSPORT, we hear you ask? Well, it’s a bit of a long story, but it’s a brilliant one!
Jim White and Jordan were joined by former Blackburn manager Steve Kean to look ahead of the Championship play-offs, and talk soon meandered onto his managerial spell in Brunei.
Following his exit from Ewood Park in 2012, Kean made a surprise move to take charge of the only professional football club in Brunei – Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota Football Club, or DPMM FC for short.
The club is owned by the Sultan’s son, Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah – in English, the team’s name literally means ‘His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Brunei Football Club’ – and the royal even played as goalkeeper for the team.
It turns out Kean had a whale of a time in the northern Borneo state, where he worked daily with the Sultan and Crown Prince, was regularly invited to the palace and even bagged an invitation to a royal wedding!
Not exactly what we expected to hear from the Glaswegian, and Jim White said as much to Jordan.
“You’ve got to love that, Simon,” said the host. “How would you fancy working for the Sultan of Brunei and his team?”
Well, as it turned out, Mr Jordan had met the Sultan before. Not only that, he’d bought the flash motor from one of his sons. As you do.
“I bought a car off him once,” Simon replied.
Well, as you can imagine, Jim was flabbergasted: “You bought a car off the Sultan of Brunei?!”
“Yep, I did,” said Simon. “I bought a McLaren off him once, yes.”
And Jim, with the question we’re all asking: “How much did you pay for it?”
“… £372,000 – nothing for a football manager,” Jordan said with his tongue firmly in his cheek.
“Believe me, he’s got a few in his garage. It was a black McLaren SLR and they didn’t make them any more, they made it specifically for him and he bought three of them. So I bought one off his youngest son.”
A quick Google search shows the same McLaren model going for £1.1million at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, so it looks like our man Simon got himself a pretty good little deal!
It turns out the Sultan is a huge football fan and was very hands on with the club’s dealings during Kean’s spell in charge, while his son the Crown Prince – the club’s owner – was one of Kean’s actual players.
DPMM FC play in the Singapore Premier League and are the current champions, having won their first ever title when Kean was manager.
And the well-travelled boss, who enjoyed a spell in Portugal as a player, says he loved every moment during his four-year stay in Brunei.
“When I first went I thought I’d go out for a year and see how it was, but I ended up staying for four years,” said the manager, who left the country in 2017.
“I wanted to leave leave something for when I left. We won the league for the first time and we started the academy, I was coaching the players and the local staff and it was a fantastic time, a really big time in my coaching career.”
But was the Sultan demanding as a boss?
“No not at all, he was very welcoming,” said Kean, who went into detail about his interactions with the royal family.
“His son, the Crown Prince would come to training every day, we were invited to go to the palace, we were invited to his youngest son’s wedding inside the Sultan’s palace.
“He’s an incredible man with so much energy. He plays polo every day, he plays golf, he’s a very fit guy and he only gave support to us as a team.
“We were the only professional team in Brunei but anything we needed to develop the club in any capacity, it was there. It was a really great time, they’re lovely, lovely people.”