Fitting legacy of Brand Beckham

Last updated at 21:59 27 March 2008

England centurion David Beckham is

unlikely to be part of the squad for much longer

than the two friendlies at the end of the season.

But brand Beckham is still heavily involved in

laying down a structure between the players and

the FA and their sponsors which, it is hoped, will

act as a template for years to come.

Beckham's commercial representatives, 19

management, have spent almost all of the two

years since they became the agents of choice of

the England squad in negotiations with the FA

and their lawyers over this contract, which is

now understood to be nearly ready for signing.

The document will detail the formula for reaching

the image right percentages the players

receive for making personal appearances for the

FA sponsors — a highly sensitive area because of

the potential conflict with the players' own personal

endorsements and their individual agents.

Music tycoon Simon Fuller, who was in Paris on

Wednesday to watch star client Beckham reach

his landmark appearance, was the brains behind

the setting up of 1966 management — an offshoot

from his 19 company — which won the competitive

tender to represent the players mainly due to

Fuller's offer initially to work for the England

football multi-millionaire set for free.

Fuller's big idea so far has been that the

England team donate their match fees to good

causes, which is believed to be operating well.

And despite the tortuous period it has taken to

get the contract in legal order with Fuller's

people, who include Beckham's former personal

manager Terry Byrne, the FA claim to be far

happier working with 1966 than the previous

players' agency CSS Stellar.

BBC call in police after files go missing

The BBC are sending so many staff to the

Beijing Olympics that a helpline has been set

up to cope with their concerns following the

theft of their personal details — including

passport number and home address — from the

sports department within Television Centre at

Shepherds Bush.

Police are now investigating the disappearance

of the paper back-up files from the computer

information containing the particulars of the

massive 437-strong Beeb army on its way to

China. Staff have been advised to check their

bank accounts for rogue transactions.

The Beeb, who called in the police after their

probe failed to locate the missing files, defend

the increase in the team of 404 personnel

accredited for the Athens Olympics four years

ago on the grounds that the hours of coverage

will double.

More pleasing for licence fee payers

is that the Beeb legion will all be flying to Beijing

economy class.

Walcott's girl just a face in the crowd

The Beckham clan might have

occupied a box at the Stade de

France for the England match on

Wednesday night, but Theo Walcott's

girlfriend Melanie Slade

was happy just to sit with

a friend in the crowd.

What happened

to all that WAG advice she

received from Victoria Beckham

during their stay at the Brenner's Park Hotel in

Baden-Baden during the 2006 World Cup?

Storrie's McKay link

The firm denials from Portsmouth about

the involvement of agent Willie McKay in

the January 31 deadline day Benjani transfer

from Portsmouth to Manchester City — despite

McKay's name appearing on the transfer

registration form as acting for the selling club

— is all the more extraordinary in that the

document was also signed by the club's chief

executive Peter Storrie.

A very exclusive club

The All England Club's decision to sign another

Wimbledon championships TV rights contract

with the BBC, without even testing the market

with an official tender for such a valuable

commodity, has astonished the industry.

And it hasn't escaped notice that Wimbledon's

in-house TV rights chief John Rowlinson just

happens to have spent most of his working life

with BBC Sport.

The last major deal that didn't

go out to tender was Heineken Cup rugby

renewing with Sky when a lot more money was

available elsewhere.

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