The demise of Masterton is the latest chapter in a sorry saga for the former Controlled Group management team.
In the circle of demolition life, the collapse of one company generally helps nourish and invigorate many others. So when Controlled Group fell in 2010, its employees were cast like seeds carried on the breeze to the four corners of the UK demolition industry and are now an integral part of countless other demolition companies that each benefit from the experience they have brought. Meanwhile, some of the most senior members of the Controlled Group re-emerged at companies like Lee Demolition, EDS, Silverdell and Masterton.
Just a few years ago, that list of names would have resounded like a who’s who of the UK demolition business. Today, however, it is merely a list of companies that – like Controlled Group – have fallen by the wayside.
Is there a connection? Well certainly, the demise of each of these former big names has been greeted with accusations of pursuing turnover rather than profit, and of over-ambition.
Of course, in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of a company, any variety of disgruntled former employees, relieved competitors and Internet trolls can quickly fill website comments boxes with one-sided speculation and allegation. And, given that the UK has only just emerged from the longest and deepest economic recession in living memory, perhaps the failures of Lee Demolition, EDS, Silverdell and Masterton really is just an unfortunate coincidence that casts the former Controlled Group management team in a poor light.
And yet the evidence seems to suggest otherwise. EDS, in the midst of a recession, took on a mammoth demolition project in Australia, thousands of miles from its headquarters; Masterton had set its sights on equally ambitious expansion in the Middle East; and when Lee Demolition finally went under, the company readily admitted that its demise had been caused by failures in management and contract pricing.
Of course, when the dust settles on the Masterton collapse, the cycle of failure and rebirth will continue; employees will boost the workforces of former rival contractors; equipment will swell the plant ranks of other companies; and the management will, no doubt, re-emerge in an equally high profile and high salaried position elsewhere.
“It’s the Circle of Life, and it moves us all…”