Euro swansong for England's Umbro deal
23:26 GMT, 7 June 2012
Euro 2012 looks almost certain to be the last tournament at which Umbro have their logo on the England shirts, despite their 20million-a-year contract running until 2018.
FA insiders believe it is only a matter of time before Nike, who are selling off Umbro, start talks to switch the logo to their ‘Swoosh’.
All change: Umbro set to lose their long-standing England agreement
Nike have the choice of offering Umbro for sale with or without the marquee England property but the second option is regarded as far more likely — with the change happening around the launch of the next England shirt next spring.
The FA, who had no warning of their long-term kit suppliers being ditched, will not be complaining if Nike extend the deal and offer more money — as was the case with Manchester City, who will be making the Umbro-Nike transition for the 2013-14 season.
There is plenty of acrimony between football conference rivals Leaders in Football and Soccerex. So it will cause concern at Leaders, run by James Worrell, that the 65 per cent shareholding of collapsed Russian-owned Convers Sports that is being sold off by the administrators is interesting the Duncan Revie-run Soccerex. Worrell left them to set up the opposition.
Despite all of the FA’s admirable on-message branding of the England media centre in a Krakow hotel, the first picture in a montage of entries in Vauxhall’s photographer-of-the-year competition is of Rio Ferdinand, whose non-selection has overshadowed the start of the tournament. A laughing Ferdinand is snapped stage centre of a goal celebration in training.
On the ball
Jordan Henderson (pictured right) still has to win over plenty of sceptics who don’t think he deserves his England place.
So it was a canny PR move for inside-the-camp rolling FATV footage to be shown at the England media centre of the Liverpool midfielder (148 touches) winning a tennis ball keepy-uppy contest against Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (136).
The Gary Neville influence has already pervaded the England team room at the Hotel Stary, with the Stone Roses being played on the jukebox installed there with snooker and pool tables. Neville is a big enough fan of the Manchester group for frontman Ian Brown to have sung at his testimonial.
The love-in between Roy Hodgson and FA chairman David Bernstein included the England manager inviting his boss, plus Club England management and other FA officials, to join him for dinner at the team hotel on their first night in Krakow. This follows Hodgson sitting next to Bernstein on the flight from Luton, as he had on the way back from Oslo after the Norway friendly, as well as being partners on the FA golf day. It adds up to more face time in less than a fortnight than Bernstein would have had with Hodgson’s insular predecessor, Fabio Capello, over 14 months.
What goes around…
The Foreign Office-led decision to boycott the group stages of Euro 2012 in protest over human rights in Ukraine avoids what would have been a spiky encounter with some of the FA party.
Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson, who met FA members in Rustenburg, South Africa, before England’s opening World Cup match against the USA, has been a vociferous critic of the FA, famously calling football the worst governed sport in the country.
Those same FA blazers were looking forward to challenging Robertson over his department being ‘fit for purpose’ after the travails of beleaguered Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt, who hopes to travel over if England progress.
One wonders about the FA’s priorities when the main subjects of discussion at the last meeting of the absurd Protocol Committee were a Chelsea request for their FA Cup final seats to be nearer the front of the Royal Box and whether York chairman Jason McGill’s children, who are under the minimum age of 16, should be allowed into Wembley’s VIP suite at the FA Trophy final. They weren’t.