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Euro Tech Gets Cash


The checks being written in 2023 may not be as big as the ones in 2022/21, but there sure are a lot of them already. That's why the boys play an EXTREME version of Buy-or-Sell on this episode, including HR Bot Factory, Amalia.io, awork, Arctic Shores, Huler and Gigged.ai. Our friends at Textkernel get "wise" with their recent acquisition and Wales embraces pay equality with the world's most popular sport. Oh yeah, and House of HR CEO Rika Coppens is still a total bad-ass, and she has the hardware to prove it.


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INTRO: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's Most Dangerous Podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for The Chad and Cheese Podcast.


Joel: Oh, yeah. Microsoft held an invite-only Sting concert for execs in Davos the day before the company announced layoffs of 10,000 employees. I wonder if the song, "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" was played. Hey, kids, it's The Chad and Cheese Podcast Does Europe. I'm your co-host, Joel "King of Pain" Cheeseman.


Chad: This is Chad "Show Me the Money" Sowash.


Lieven: And I'm Lieven "If I had any Leopard tanks I would give them to Ukraine" Van Nieuwenhuyze.


Joel: And on this episode, Textkernel goes shopping, extreme buy or sell. And Wales just isn't the home of Chad's favorite show, it's a whole lot more. Let's do this.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: What's up, guys?


Chad: Whatever happened to the Europe has a bunch of countries in it sound effect? Have you moved away from that one? 'Cause I noticed how you moved toward and away from sound effects.


Joel: I could put it in. I thought...


Chad: No, I'm just...


Joel: I thought the transition.


Chad: This is up for conversation, that's all.


Joel: The transition is kinda sexy. It's kinda...


[laughter]


Chad: It's hard hitting like our news.


[laughter]


Lieven: That's true.


Joel: It is true.


Chad: So let's get to the shoutouts. This is already off the rails.


Joel: Right. Well, we shouldn't record this on Monday. We're way off. We're way off on Monday. I'll go ahead and go first because I need a little bit of Sweden to get me going.

Joel: Oh, yeah.


Lieven: Here we go again.


Chad: I like a little Abba.


Joel: Let's talk a little Sweden, shall we? In case you missed it, a Swedish mining company said last week that it had found Europe's largest known deposit of coveted rare earth metals critical to many green technologies, including electrical vehicles and windmills. The world's production of rare earths is currently dominated by China, but this discovery by LKAB, a state-owned company creates the prospect that Europe could over time develop a domestic source of these minerals. Norwegian oil and now Swedish minerals, not since the Swedish bikini team has the continent nay the world been so excited. My shoutout goes to Sweden.


Chad: It's nice to see Europe actually looking to take care of themselves.


Joel: Suck it, dictators.


[laughter]


Chad: I'm gonna go ahead and give a shoutout to the Polish, English, and for the Germans too, it looks like turned their head to allow this to happen. But it looks like Ukraine's gonna be getting Challenger tanks and Leopard 2 tanks so they can actually start what Joel likes to call a full frontal.


Joel: Did you say a full frontal?


Speaker 6: What are you doing, step bro?


Joel: Yikes.


[laughter]


Chad: If anybody has outshined the entire world during this whole fucking predicament where Russia invaded, it's been the Polish. They've taken in millions of Ukrainians. And this isn't even the government, just house-by-house. The communities have been taking in the Ukrainians. So now they're looking to send Leopard 2 tanks to the battlefield, and that's awesome. That's great to hear.


Joel: Now we just need some Abrams tanks from the good old US of A to really change the complexion of this battlefield.


Chad: That would hurt things more than anything else. They have way too many weapon systems and not enough people to be able to learn all those different weapon systems. All of the tanks that they're going to be stealing from Russia as those motherfuckers run toward the border, they're gonna have plenty of tanks.


Lieven: Yeah, but you can send some soldiers as well, huh? Give them a few hundred Abram tanks with the soldiers to drive them or something, no?


Chad: That's an entirely different discussion. [chuckle]


Joel: Amazing how the change of uniform can make a Polish soldier into a Ukrainian soldier real quick.


Lieven: It's almost the same language. Nobody would notice.


Joel: The Germans.


Chad: I think the Russians would notice, but go ahead.


[laughter]


Lieven: Nobody would believe them. They always lie.


Chad: That's a very good point. Good point, Li. I like how you think. That's very good. [chuckle] You could be propaganda minister for The Chad and Cheese.


Lieven: I'd be so good in being a propaganda minister for any case, basically.


Joel: You'd be a...


Chad: Shoutout.


Joel: You'd be good at anything counterintelligence, propaganda. Yeah.


Lieven: Oh, well, I'll just stick to Reddits and being myself there. Anonymous.


Chad: Do you have a shoutout you'd like to share?


Lieven: Of course I have a shoutout. You all know Rika Coppens, CEO of House of HR?


Joel: Of course.


Chad: Yes.


Lieven: The Rika Coppens from the House of HR? She was elected Manager of the Year last week or two weeks ago. Time flies.


Joel: Yes, she was.


Lieven: Manager of the year is quite a big thing in Belgium. So now, she's big in Belgium. She's always been big in Belgium, but now she's really big in Belgium. The award was handed over by the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo.


Chad: That was awesome.


Lieven: Yeah, it's pretty... It was really impressive. But of course the fun thing was, it's a HR company whose CEO was selected to become Manager of The Year, and that's the important thing. People are starting to realize that we work in an environment which changes lives for a good thing, etcetera. So, it's a good thing.


Chad: Yeah. You sent a video of that, and that was a big to-do. It was in this big...


Joel: Yeah, it was.


Chad: Theater on stage. It had the...


Lieven: Yes.


Chad: You said the prime minister.


Lieven: It's a big event.


Chad: That was a big, big event. And was she the only female amongst the individuals looking... Who was being voted for Manager of the Year?


Lieven: There were 10 nominees, two females...


Chad: Okay.


Lieven: Eight males.


Chad: Gotcha.


Lieven: So, still a bit dominant. [chuckle]


Chad: Yeah, 80-20 rule, Jesus.


Lieven: But Rika won of course.


Chad: Yes.


Lieven: And in fact, I don't think she won because she's female.


Chad: No.


Lieven: Even though it helps these days that we all know that being White males, we are constantly discriminated, but [laughter] she didn't win because she's female. She's just very, very, very good.


Chad: [chuckle] Discriminated.


Joel: Lieven needs a hug.


Lieven: Yeah. We are constantly discriminated. Today, being male and White and... [laughter] It's hard. It's really hard.


Chad: It's the privilege being knocked out of your face, is what you're used to. [laughter] It's like, "Oh, is that what the world really looks like?" Yeah. Look, it took a little bit of Lieven's privilege from him. Poor guy.


Joel: Is there any like Will Smith style slaps on Chris Rock that goes down at Belgian award shows?


[chuckle]


Lieven: No, no, no. We're very serious people. We're nice to each other. We don't slap people around when there are cameras.


Chad: When there are cameras.


Joel: We only wage a World War every 50 years, that's all.


Lieven: Yeah, it's not our fault.


Joel: Never.


Lieven: No. We are always the ones who are invaded. It starts in Belgium.


Joel: That's true. You are the welcome mat for all the world's ills.


Chad: The welcome mat.


[laughter]


Lieven: Yeah.


Chad: Everybody clean your feet off on Belgium before you come into Europe, okay?


Joel: How amazing to get past Belgium after the beer. It's like, "Have a beer and stay a while." Geez. Don't...


Lieven: Exactly.


Joel: Invade? What? Have a Duvel, you'll feel better.


Chad: Well, I'll tell you what, later this year, we're gonna be invading Belgium again.


Joel: Yes. Yes. Via Amsterdam.


Chad: Ooh, yes. Yes.


Joel: Traveling to the... House of HR, you're moving out of Belgium up north into Holland.


Chad: The e-recruitment Congress.


Joel: Cause chaos like Amadeus.


Lieven: Amsterdam, November 14th. Save the date, save the location, and we'll see you there.


Joel: I'll be there.


Lieven: And basically, just a quick question. I'm still looking for very good speakers. We have plenty of them, but I need the best. So if anyone has a suggestion, anyone listening to the show today, if you have a suggestion, let me know. The theme will be... And it's still a working title, but I'm going to give it away already; "Manage your recruitment like a web shop." That's basically the idea. It's about convincing people to apply. We use the same technologies as when you convince people to buy a product or to buy a service. It's about managing your recruitment as a web shop. It's about authority, about speed, about convenience, about trust, etcetera. Which tools can we use for our recruitment as well? So if you know many speakers who might be a great fit, if you saw someone at the Congress somewhere, please let me know. Lieven@houseofhr.com, and you'll get two free tickets if you give me a great speaker.


Joel: Lieven just opened Pandora's box and made a call for open nominations for speakers to come to his event.


[laughter]


Chad: With his email.


Joel: With his email address. Have fun with that, Lieven.


Lieven: Did I say Lieven?


Joel: Yeah.


[laughter]


Lieven: I meant... No, no.


Joel: No, I'm sure you're gonna get some responses of people who would like a little exposure for their CEOs or...


Lieven: Yeah, we even pay our speakers.


Joel: Some podcast whores looking for stuff.


Chad: Now you're definitely gonna get emails. Jesus.


[chuckle]


Lieven: No, it's not like some other congresses, if you buy a sponsor pack, you can get a place on the stage. It's not like that. We actually choose our speakers and we pay them. It's a different approach. It's about content.


Joel: Very selective.


Chad: About content.


Joel: Very selective.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Much like the news on our show.


Chad: Topics.


Joel: All right. Our friends at Textkernel, a company that provides semantic search and matching technology for recruiting and staffing, in case you haven't been paying attention, acquired WiseGuys, a subsidiary of Coosto, a social media monitoring platform. WiseGuys provided the crawling technology and raw data used in Textkernel's job feed product, which the two companies had been working on in partnership for the past 20 years. The acquisition was made to own this part of the product and remove dependencies as well as to have more control over the product's roadmap for expanding coverage and potentially looking at other sources of data. This was Textkernel's third acquisition in the past 12 months. You might remember a little acquisition called Sovren that actually happened, I think, two years ago. Chad, you spoke with Textkernel CEO, Gerard Mulder in depth about this acquisition. What's up?


Chad: Yeah, it just makes sense. They've been working with this organization for 20 years to be able to build a product, a labor market information type of a product. Obviously, they really wanna go heavy into the market with this product in 2023. So, instead of having a partner, have that partner be a part of the organization, they saw that it was a great point in time for both companies to be able to go through the acquisition process. Again, this is nothing new. It's just being able to, instead of saying that you do a certain thing, but yet you have an outside vendor or partner do it, you're actually going to bring that in-house and do it yourself. And we've seen some companies over the years actually do this; either they kick the vendor out because they've developed their own or they bring the organization in through acquisition. So, very smart play. And as we have been talking about, I really think 2023 is going to be not the year of funding, but the year of mergers, acquisitions and consolidations.


Joel: This is some of the most Dutch shit I've ever heard. [chuckle] I mean, the Dutch are conservative people, but 20 years, 20 years, I mean, shit. Textkernel has super smart people running things. Gerard has been on our show. Look, they have serious financing through Maine Capital. Their history of acquisitions, hello Sovren, has been solid. So you know that they've made a good buying decision with the buy of WiseGuys. It's obviously a solid one. After 20 years of shopping, I hope that they've made a good decision. I don't even need to check out WiseGuys, knowing how thoughtful Gerard and his team are. I know this is a solid acquisition, probably too conservative for my American taste. I usually like to buy within 30 days or so. But nevertheless, this is a sound buy. Textkernel does not act outta turn. They've done their homework. This is gonna be a good acquisition like all the others.


Lieven: No, I agree. I mean, Textkernel knows what they're buying from a client's perspective, and that's more than most companies can say when doing M&A. So if you've been a client for 20 years, then you probably know the company. And if they still wanna buy it, it must be a very good deal. I don't really know about the revenue of WiseGuys or the business model. No idea, really. But I like the company. They're very technology driven, and if they have been supplier for 20 years, the match must be perfect.


Chad: Yeah. But if you take a look at Textkernel though and their growth, you're starting to see obviously the acquisition of a huge player in the market, Sovren. And then they come across the pond very strong. Then you have the entrance of Maine Capital, obviously. So, they do have the cash that's there. To me, as I think Joel was pointing out, this is just perfect from a timing standpoint. And instead of having to worry about possibly that partner getting gobbled up or acquired by somebody else, and then screwing your entire product, just own it yourself.


Joel: Lieven, I gotta know. The term "wise guy" in America either refers to a gangster or a smart ass. If I say "wise guy" to you as a European, what do you think?


Lieven: I think I know both of the explanations, but I would think smart guy, mostly.


Joel: Smart guy.


Lieven: Yeah.


Joel: Okay.


Lieven: But also, the wise guys, it has something to do with the FBI or Wise Guy. It reminds me of the movies, Wise Guy. I'm not sure exactly what.


Chad: Wise Guys, yeah, they're being watched by the FBI.


Lieven: Okay. Like that.


Joel: Maybe a little lost in translation with the name, WiseGuys.


Lieven: But "wise guy" sounds like a smart ass.


Joel: All right. Well, let's take a quick break and get to, God help us, Extreme Buy or Sell.


Chad: Extreme.


Lieven: Ooh.


Speaker 6: Europe has a bunch of countries in it.


Joel: All right, guys. I hope you ate your wheaties on this one, or had your croissant. We're gonna do some Extreme Buy or Sell.


Chad: Extreme.


Joel: Our listeners know what that means. Typically, it means three companies, all startups, usually that have gotten money recently. And then I read a quick summary and then everybody buys or sells the business. We're gonna go from three to six, just because that's how much startup cash is flowing into Europe. Are you guys ready for a little extreme buy or sell?


Chad: Let's do it. [chuckle]


Lieven: It's not a little buy or sell, it's like a huge buy or sell.


Joel: It's a huge...


Lieven: It's extreme. Extreme, yeah.


Joel: Huge buy or sell.


Lieven: Huge buy or sell.


Joel: Yeah. And it deserves a drum roll, is how much extreme this thing is. All right, let's talk about HR Bot Factory. Nothing to do with C+C Music Factory. Spain-based HR Bot Factory has raised €1 million in a Series A. Well, that's a hell of a Series A, €1 million. All right. The funding will be used to expand internationally. First, to the UK, and later to the US. The company had revenue of more than €500,000 in 2022, and is aiming to increase it to €1.2 million this year. Prior to this, they had secured seed funding to the tune of €650,000. That was January of 2022. All right, Chad, HR Bot Factory gonna make you sweat. Is it gonna make you buy or sell?


Chad: One word, ChatGPT. It's a sell for me.


Joel: All right. We got a sell from Sowash. All right. I can't decide if these guys are a paradox for Spanish or poor man's talk push. Either way, I think they're too little, too late to the ball game. Good luck with everyone's sloppy seconds in the chatbot automation space. HR Bot Factory. Yeah, it's also a shitty name, and it's also a big sell from yours truly.


Lieven: I'm gonna follow. We do have some experience with HR chatbots technology. We use Dora the Chatbot, and it takes some time to get everything right, but once it's right, it's perfect. It really saves time. If it wasn't for ChatGPT thing, I would say maybe a buy. But I agree with Chad, this isn't the right time to be investing in someone who is not ChatGPT.


Joel: That's three sells for HR Bot Factory, but that's just our first startup, guys. Let's go to number two. Huler. UK-based Huler has raised £2 million to further develop its employee experience platform, as well as create 12 new jobs at the company. The platform, which acts as a launchpad bringing together different programs, apps, and content that employees require says the funding will help them drive further growth in the UK and internationally. Chad, Huler, Huler, Huler, buy or sell?


Chad: So, this is for all those big, ugly ass platforms that have acquired several point solutions over the years and need a facelift. I love the idea of working in a single tab instead of popping open new tabs every time I go from one point to the next in your HCM. I'm a big fan of better UX, and this will continue to be a problem most enterprise systems are making. So Huler, I think, is going to be a great target for acquisition in the coming months. So, this is a buy for me.


[applause]


Joel: All right. Basically, turn your company's intranet, the place no one wants to go anyway, into an iPhone interface. I'm sure it makes the branding folks feel really good about themselves. But is this thing as transformative as they make it sound? Not in my opinion. It's like my kid eating sugar, pumps you up for a few hours and then crash, which is exactly where I think this company is going. I am a sell on Huler. Lieven, break the tie.


Lieven: So poetic. You stole my whole iPhone thing. I was going to say I already have an iPhone, sell. Basically, this is what my iPhone can do. So, sell.


[chuckle]


Joel: All right.


Chad: First off, still going through on your iPhone on a lot of those human capital management systems is still going to suck. So, I don't care if you have an iPhone, you have a Droid or whatever you have, it's still a shit process.


Lieven: You can buy, we sell.


[chuckle]


Joel: We're moving on. We're moving on. We're moving on. This is extreme, baby. We gotta move fast.


Lieven: Extreme...


Joel: All right, so...


Lieven: Gigged. [chuckle]


Joel: Good Lord, this is off the rails already. All right. Gigged.ai, a Glasgow-based startup.


Speaker 7: Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap."


[chuckle]


Joel: Gigged.ai has raised £1.6 million in seed funding for its AI-powered recruitment software that matches people with relevant technology skills to suitable hiring companies, and provides an overview of a business' current talent capabilities to prevent unnecessary hires. The funding round was led by Par Equity and will be used to build out its team remotely and expand its Glasgow and London offices. The platform is already being used by the BBC. Chad, are you buy or sell on Gigged.ai?


Chad: Okay. So the CEO has great experience with Allegis and tech systems. So he has experience in this space, understands the gap for tech and giggers. I like it. I like it a lot. Not to mention it's outta Glasgow and it's Scottish. So, it's a buy for me.


[applause]


Joel: All right. Hey, it's a sourcing platform which would've been cool about five years ago, but not so much today. We spent most of 2021 talking about how sourcing is being commoditized. While SeekOut, hireEZ and HiringSolved and the others have pivoted, here we are back to the future with Gigged.ai. Like most things Scottish, they wanna launch something after it's been popularized and call it innovation. [chuckle] I say, nope, this is a sell from me. Break the tie, Lieven.


Lieven: Okay, okay. Well, it is from Glasgow. It has Gig in its name, it has AI in its name, so it should be an easy buy, but it's focusing on matching people with relevant technology skills with suitable companies. You can't match what's not there. If we find someone who's technically skilled, we don't need a matching platform. We need a telephone and we call seven clients and we can place it at seven places. [chuckle] So, no technology needed. So in this case, I love the idea, but no, it's a sell.


Joel: Oh, boy. All right. Let's go to Arctic Shores. Founded in 2013, Arctic Shores, a Manchester, UK-based company that provides psychometric assessments using behavioral tasks to determine personality traits and reveal potential raised £5.75 million in a series B round for international expansion development of its soft skills assessment and adoption of its new self-configure platform. Total funding raised is £13.5 million. Chad, are you ready to buy Arctic Shores?


Chad: We can't even get the basics right in what we do in HR and hiring, so on and so forth. And we've got all the psycho babble that's happening and getting thrown at us. And when it comes to psychometric assessments, I'm usually a hard no, not always, but in this case, this is definitely a hard no. It's a sell.


Joel: Oh boy. All right. So, I hate trying to review behavioral assessment companies, mostly because I don't understand them.


Speaker 8: 60% of the time, it works every time.


Joel: And I struggle with Arctic Shores because they have been around for 10 years. So, there is profit there. However, it is going to be a big... It is not gonna be a big growth business at this point. It would've happened by now if that was the case. I'd buy Arctic Monkeys, the band, but Arctic Shores is a sell.


Lieven: And I would buy Erotic Shores, but I'm not into arctics, so no. I think they have some very nice clients, and given the huge competition in this industry, it means they must be doing something right. But I couldn't find what it was. [laughter] And they have a tab, pricing, on the homepage, a whole tab called "pricing," and when you click on it, [chuckle] you have to schedule for a meeting. It sucks.


Joel: Oh boy.


Lieven: I thought, yes, they're going to be transparent about their pricing, and they're not.


Joel: That is the worst. That is the worst.


Lieven: So, no Arctic Shores for me. No. [chuckle] Sell.


Joel: Oh boy.


Chad: That is a Chad and Cheese pet peeve, by the way. If you have a price link and you click on pricing, you better show me fucking pricing.


Lieven: Of course. It says "pricing," show me pricing. [chuckle] It doesn't says, "schedule a meeting with a sales guy."


Joel: That escalated quickly. All right, let's go. We're almost done. Almost. All right. Let's go to awork, a Hamburg-based software startup has raised €5 million in a series A funding round. Awork provides a digital workplace software that allows creative colleagues to work intuitively on projects. The funding will be used to grow DACH market share and accelerate the development of its project management functions and workflows. With 17,000 user accounts on its platform, the company has 2200 corporate customers and expects to hit 4000 corporates before the end of the year. Chad, are you ready to get to work on awork, or is it a sell?


Chad: Awork, a-hole awork. It's an integrated efficiency platform for teams that makes an unsexy process sexy, or at least that's what it says it does. But I'm not sold on most of the aspects of this platform, as it seems like a solution looking for a real problem. So, it's a sell. It's a sell for me.


Joel: Ouch.


Lieven: Yep. Same here. Nothing new to add, sell. Solution for a non-existing problem.


[chuckle]


Joel: I will expand on that. Probably the most innovative startup we're reviewing today, but man, does it look complicated? No wonder it's a German company, because Germans embrace this kind of complexity. Will it grow outside of its market? I'm skeptical. But they're not trying to grow outside of their market, they're trying to stay in their own little hyper-OCD market. [chuckle] And even though Germans don't historically stay in Germany for long, I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt and buy awork. Or, is it [0:25:50.1] ____?


[applause]


Joel: All right.


Chad: A-hole. [chuckle]


Joel: Let's go from Germany to France. Amalia.io, a three-year-old startup from Lille France, I'm sure that's not how you pronounce that, has raised €4 million in funding for its no code sales compensation platform that helps sales teams calculate performance-based compensation. The platform also provides transparency by plugging in key indicators from the enterprise's customer relations management, or other back-of-house software engine to ensure everyone's in loop. The funding will be used to expand the team and widen its clientele. Chad, you know a thing or two about sales software. Are you a buy or sell on Amalia?


Chad: Yeah, I think it's a great tool that could replace spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are not sexy, but I don't see this, again, solving a real problem. The processes that are in place, usually, if I'm in Salesforce, I can push everything into a spreadsheet. I usually have my data at my fingertips one way or the other. This, again, I think is more of a cosmetic UX fix, but I don't think that there's a real problem here. They're just trying to make things sexy that aren't sexy. And that, to be quite frank, isn't enough for me to want to buy. So, I'm going to sell.


Joel: So, my experience with sales commission software is pretty close to zero. I understand in a global economy, being able to manage salespeople effectively is an ideal situation. However, I have a hard time thinking existing platforms like Salesforce or maybe even some payroll platforms out there aren't already solving this problem or already haven't solved this problem. So, I'm gonna lead on Chad and Lieven, who know a hell of a lot more about managing salespeople than I do, to guide my decision. Lieven, are you a buy or sell?


Lieven: I'm a buy, actually. I think I like the whole instant gratification ID and...


[applause]


Lieven: The no code part sounds cheap, so that's a big win. [laughter] Really, I like it. I like it. If you can motivate sales by showing them immediately what they're going to gain, then it's kind of almost gamification. It's addictive. You enter a client, you leave the client's office and you say, "Woo! One more thousand euros," something like that. So, I like it. I think maybe I just misunderstood the whole thing, but I like it.


Joel: All right, Chad is a sell and Lieven is a buy, which means I am...


Speaker 9: It's Corona time.


Joel: Corona time, 'cause I'm on the fence. A little push.


Speaker 9: Hey, it's Corona time right now.


Chad: If you're a sales guy and you don't know how much money that you just brought in after that sale or how much you have left, you're a shitty sales guy. So, I don't need that. [chuckle]


Lieven: What? Sometimes, just very complicated.


Chad: [chuckle] If you made it complicated, then that's management's fault. They need to get...


Joel: Lieven just likes any French company that we talk about on the show.


Chad: Yeah, that's a good point, yeah...


Lieven: I love the French.


Joel: He loves French. All right, everybody, that is Extreme Buy or Sell.


Chad: Extreme...


Joel: Now we're gonna tone it down a little bit...


Chad: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.


Joel: With some European football. The Football Association of Wales, or FAW as Chad likes to call it, has agreed to pay its men's and women's senior players the same for representing their country. The deal which comes into effect immediately will see the men's team take a 25% pay cut to enable a 25% rise for the women's team resulting in parity for representing their country. The agreement runs until 2027 and makes Wales the latest country, including the US, yes, those misogynistic pigs in America, England, Brazil, Australian, Norway, and New Zealand to adopt equal pay for their national teams. Yo, Lieven, I didn't say Belgium. What the hell's going on? And what are your thoughts on the Wales team parity in salary?


Lieven: If you ask my official company-backed opinion on this, then it's a great idea. We all love equality.


[laughter]


Joel: Okay, can I get your old white dude version now? [chuckle]


Lieven: Of course, just my own...


Joel: Nein.


Lieven: Opinion which has nothing to do with my company's opinion, to make this very, very clear.


Joel: Please, yes.


Lieven: I think the moment they get the same number of fans, they can ask the same pay. But it's totally ridiculous. This is the entertainment business and you get paid, and if you entertain many people, you get paid more. It's like Sheryl Crow saying, "I earn less than Ed Sheeran. This is not fair." No, she just sells not enough CDs or she doesn't get enough listeners on Spotify. If you get more listeners, you get paid more. So just maybe a better example, in Belgium, you used to have two very, very, very good tennis players. You have Justine Henin, and what's the other one's name? [laughter] Kim Clijsters, of course. And...


Chad: Clijsters. Yes.


Lieven: Yeah, Kim Clijsters, Clijsters as you say it. Well, she made much more money than some Belgium male tennis guy because she was just better. And when she was playing, everyone went to watch. But if the souped-up guy we had was playing, nobody went to see his game because he was souped up. So I think you pay. If you are into professional sports, you get paid because you are the best. And in this case, I don't think they are better than the male team. So this is just like... It's almost like charity, and in their case, I would be offended.


Chad: Well, I'm sure they're not mad that they're getting an extra 25%. So this is... And this is much different than the US women's, and let's try to separate them, because the US women's team was actually more successful. They actually won World Cup.


Lieven: That's different. They deserve more money, of course.


Chad: Exactly. Well, they deserve more money, but guess what? They had to go to court in the US just so that they could get paid at parity. They should be making more.


Joel: So, as the one that knows as little about football as the other two, I agree... From Lieven's perspective, if this is a private industry where it's based on profits and how much ticket sales and merchandise, then it should be market driven and people should be paid accordingly. But in Chad's case, if we're talking about World Cup, we're talking about Olympics, we're talking about sort of government representation or representing your country, there should be more of an equal payment, because...


Lieven: It's communism, I tell you.


Joel: People aren't going to the Olympics to get paid a salary. They're going to compete, win a gold medal or win a medal and then do commercials for Progressive Insurance [laughter] and IHOP. So I see both sides of this, but in terms of if this is the Wales team, if they're paid by a government entity or a global entity, then there should be a lot more parity in salaries regardless of who's better or who's not. They're playing for the country and should be paid according to sport, more so than how much butts they put in seats.


Chad: Look at that right now, Lieven. Look at that. That's what we call growth. That is what we call growth. Round of applause for Joel Cheeseman.


[laughter]


Joel: You're gonna give me an applause? Thank you. Thank you.


[applause]


Joel: My favorite part about this though is that I get to give my Canadian wife shit for the fact that Canada is not on this list [chuckle] and America is. So, my wife is the ultimate winner in this debate.


[laughter]


Speaker 10: Take off, we're doing our movie. Don't wreck our show, you hoser.


Joel: We out.


Chad: We out.


Lieven: We out.


OUTRO: Thank you for listening to... What's it called? The podcast, the Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting, they talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shoutouts to people you don't even know. And yet, you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue nacho, Pepperjack, Swiss, so many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any who, be sure to subs