Pearce to pay GB man Beckham a visit
23:27 GMT, 14 June 2012
David Beckham is surely not going to
be left out of Stuart Pearce's 18-man Team GB squad for the Olympics
after being named on the 35-strong shortlist registered with FIFA.
Yet Pearce still feels the need to
run the rule over Beckham's form for LA Galaxy by going to the United
States to watch him play in his next two Major League Soccer games: at
home to Portland Timbers on Sunday and away at Real Salt Lake three days
Watching brief: David Beckham
Beckham's iconic global stature and the celebrity ballyhoo surrounding his Olympic involvement would make his omission from the Games at this stage unimaginable, even with more than the maximum three over-age players allowed included on the 35-man shortlist.
So Pearce must have doubts as to how he will best deploy Beckham at the Games, or else the England Under 21 coach is just being diligent in watching his players as much as he can before the July 6 deadline for the team announcement. Pearce may also want to involve England's most capped outfield player more deeply in his Team GB planning during his stay in the States.
Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, must be looking forward to an increase in his TV rights-negotiating bonus payment – currently 2.5million spread over four years – following the astonishing 3.01bn deal agreed with Sky and BT. But Scudamore's skills still come cheap compared to the outrageous contract his predecessor Peter Leaver signed, without consulting clubs, to hire TV consultants Sam Chisholm and David Chance. If those terms – ensuring a payout of 5 per cent of the money gained on the last deal – had still been in place, the pair would have pocketed 62.25m from the latest rights bonanza.
TV turn off
Such is the disillusion in America about ESPN's UK operation after the loss of their Premier League rights, there is a strong possibility they will sell off existing contracts before they are due to expire – especially with the British set-up proving a big loss-making venture. Eager buyers will be BT, who plan other, non-football content for their sports channel if ESPN want to offload their Premiership rugby and FA Cup rights. The ESPN debacle is a major headache for the FA, who face two seasons with their flagship Cup competition being shown on a lame-duck station with little likelihood of much promotion. An ESPN spokesman said: 'We are just focusing on next season.'
Noel's on song in Kiev
Oasis singer Noel Gallagher (right) says: 'I do follow England because they have some good players, but when push comes to shove I'm in the Ireland end. I've always supported Ireland since I was a kid.' Yet Noel will still be watching England in Kiev, having invited FA staff to his concert in the Ukrainian capital this week as well as entertaining them backstage.
Factory workers at
car plants of England team sponsors Vauxhall may be upset about not
being able to watch Euro 2012 at work. However, the FA kept their 200
staff at Wembley on side by laying on a big-screen showing of the match
against France in office hours, complete with food and drink as well as a
raffle. The winning prize was a pair of England captain Steven
In the frame
Fortunately for the Premier League, BT were prepared to fork out 738m for 38 games a season for three years despite their last football experience being as one of the sponsors of England's doomed 2018 World Cup bid. BT will be forming a TV presentation team from scratch but plan to employ the best talent and say they have already been approached by 'household names'. Currently, Martin Keown is the only football pundit to work for them.
New jackets required
They used to be called plain old tracksuit tops, but the England versions have been redubbed 'anthem jackets' for sponsorship reasons. After wearing the white range against France, the team will be in blue for the national anthem at the Olympic Stadium to give beleaguered up-for-sale team backers Umbro some extra exposure.