Mike Ashley’s England t-shirt deal has Nike hot under the collar
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s plan to give away souvenir T-shirts if England win the World Cup helps explain why FA kit suppliers Nike blocked his attempts to become the new team sponsor.
Ashley’s Sports Direct were negotiating to replace Vauxhall as England’s new £7million-a-year team partner after the World Cup.
But Nike, who have the biggest sponsorship deal with the FA at £400m over 12 years, were not keen on Sports Direct or another potential sponsor, online shopping service Wish, selling their England kit for knock-down prices.
Mike Ashley plans to give away souvenir T-shirts if England win the World Cup in Russia
Ashley will offer the ‘2018 winners’ shirt via the Sports Direct app. The promotion — and Sports Direct claim they have already alerted Apple and Google about the potential demand on their internet servers — will also affect the sales of the official Nike replica England shirt.
Sports Direct intend to have the official Three Lions logo on the shirt, with the FA not prepared to comment on whether that is a breach of their registered trademark.
Meanwhile, the FA are banking on England’s showing at the World Cup to attract a team sponsor. The latest company to express interest are mobile operators EE, whose sponsorship of Wembley expires next year.
The shirts will carry the England logo and will impact the sale of the official Nike replica shirt
ITV, who are winning the ratings battle with BBC and have a potential blockbuster England semi-final at peak time to come, have a workforce of 180 in Russia.
The BBC, despite being funded by taxpayers, shamelessly will not say how many people they have at the tournament but the informed estimate is around double ITV’s total.
A BBC spokeswoman said that due to a change of policy, the Corporation no longer reveal how many people they send to major events at home or abroad.
When Russian substitute Vladimir Granat was photographed putting a substance to his nose before coming on against Spain, it looked like they were going to be bang to rights for a doping offence. But it transpires it was cotton wool soaked in ammonia, used as smelling salts.
Vladimir Granat was pictured putting a substance to his nose before coming on against Spain
It didn’t go unnoticed that BBC pundits Rio Ferdinand and Alex Scott were at the Kremlin on Friday for FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s football legends love-in with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
This at a time when there is a Government ban on ministers travelling to Russia due to the tensions between the two countries.
Rio Ferdinand and Alex Scott attended the FIFA legends love-in hosted by Gianni Infantino
FIFA, who are doing their best to restore their tarnished reputation by putting on a memorable World Cup, are also trying to bring order to the Wild West in which football agents are operating.
The recommendations from a FIFA task force will be considered by their stakeholders committee in October before a soft launch in January, which will include a new international clearing house to handle all transfer deals.
FIFA are trying to bring order to the Wild West in which football agents are operating
However, the big ticket of capping agents earnings from a deal at five per cent is already being legally challenged by a partnership of the major agents, whose QC’s letter arrived in Zurich this week.
But at least Mino Raiola’s cut from Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United — the obscene £40m that sparked the FIFA reforms — should never happen again. Agents, who can still double their proposed five per cent cut by acting for players and club, will not be allowed to backdate payments from previous moves.
England’s quarter-final opponents Sweden have been fined £50,000 by FIFA after their players wore unapproved branded socks in their last-16 victory over Switzerland, defying requests to cease breaching marketing and equipment rules.
American company Trusox, who provided the socks, allege they have been victims of the big sports retailers colluding with FIFA.
Sweden have been fined £50,000 by FIFA after players wore unapproved branded socks