DUNCAN Bannatyne has been accused of having a “Ratner moment” after revealing he hasn’t visited his own gyms for “many years”.
The former Dragons’ Den star was asked by a follower on Twitter last night (wed) if he still visits his Bannatyne gyms to check if they are being managed well.
But the 69-year-old, who currently lives in Portugal with wife Nigora, 38, replied saying: “Nope, not for many years”.
An unhappy customer responded to the tweet, writing “Maybe you should”, which was met with a blunt “nope” by Bannatyne.
Another follower then wrote: “Ratner moment…” referring to jeweller Gerald Ratner whose business plummeted in 2001 after referred to his own products as “total crap”.
But the multi-millionaire quickly rubbished the comparison, writing once again: “Nope”.
Dozens of followers took to the posts leaving comments where many suggested his gyms weren’t up to scratch and a visit from the boss could be what’s needed.
Chris Smith wrote: “You should. The one by Lakeside is a disgrace.”
Mia Farow said: “Showers at Livingston are disgusting!”
Another user, known as @triciatweetypie wrote: “Another faceless service.
“Where are they Duncan, who are they? Are they at the club you are complaining about or could you be complaining about the person that read the complaint? In our experience they take weeks to even reply.”
And Philla Morgan wrote: “Looks like you need a worker to travel the country and make sure everything is running well in your gym just to check there in good condition and everything looks neat and tidy…when do you want me start.”
However, some Bannatyne fans jumped to his defence and said he should be putting his feet up while his staff sort out any issues.
Steve Isherwood wrote: “Probably best you don’t, just keep counting the profits.”
Daniel Jonathan Kaye said: “Guys he’s old, he’s delegated the roles of maintaining and keeping them good to other people, they are the people to complain to not him.”
This isn’t the first time Bannatyne has been accused of having a “Ratner moment”.
In 2013, he as criticised customers at his own chain of health clubs, saying lowering prices at his gyms had attracted the wrong sort of clientele.
A spokeswoman for the Bannatyne Group said: “After working extremely hard all his life, at nearly 70, Duncan is enjoying semi-retirement.
“The company has a passionate and committed management team who visit the clubs regularly. Members are encouraged to feedback to the club managers face to face wherever possible, or through the feedback system on our website.
“We are aware that not all the complainers on Twitter are members of our clubs and some are serial complainers targeting many companies, looking for refunds, as can be seen on their timelines.”