League tables are not universally popular. There is usually only one winner, and the also-rans are often unhappy about the result and how it was arrived at. Leagues can also backfire on their compilers if, for example, the findings are manifestly out-of-date or based on questionable methodology. We have no such fears about sponsoring `Britain's Most Admired Companies', which has been prepared from material supplied by Loughborough University.
Indeed, there are three reasons why these tables are important. Although they could be dismissed as 'subjective', the fact is that no one understands the strengths and weaknesses of individual companies as well as their competitors. Second, the tables are unusual in being based on non-financial data. To rely wholly on financial data for the assessment of corporate management is at best unbalanced and at worst dangerous: witness the collapse of so many 1980s chart-toppers. Third, Britain needs strong businesses capable of flourishing in the long term. Britain's Most Admired Companies is as reliable a guide as any to the identity of these businesses.