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Charlton 1 Ipswich 2: DJ Campbell leads Tractor Boys to victory

Charlton 1 Ipswich 2: Addicks lose third straight game against improving Tractor Boys


14:57 GMT, 26 December 2012



15:13 GMT, 26 December 2012

Loan stars DJ Campbell and Daryl Murphy fired Ipswich to victory at free-falling Charlton.

QPR loanee Campbell made amends for missing an early penalty by firing in his ninth goal of the season, and Celtic frontman Murphy doubled their lead before half-time.

Danny Haynes pulled one back from the spot for Charlton but they could not avoid crashing to a third straight defeat on manager Chris Powell's 100th game in charge of the club.

Loan Ranger: On-loan QPR striker DJ Campbell scored Ipswich's 34th-minute opener

Loan Ranger: On-loan QPR striker DJ Campbell scored Ipswich's 34th-minute opener

Match facts

Charlton: Hamer, Cort, Morrison, Seaborne, Solly, Stephens, Frimpong, Green, Hulse, Haynes, Fuller. Subs: Sullivan, Evina, Jackson, Pritchard, Kermorgant, Harriott, Dervite.

Ipswich: Henderson, Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, N'Daw, Drury, Martin, Murphy, Campbell.
Subs: Loach, Higginbotham, Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra, Scotland, Hyam, Reo-Coker.

Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Campbell should have given Ipswich the lead after a quarter of an hour,
when Emmanuel Frimpong brought down Lee Martin in the area.

The striker stepped up to take the penalty but fired his effort horribly wide of Ben Hamer's goal.
Campbell had an immediate chance to atone for his miss but Hamer saved well at his feet.

Charlton midfielder Dale Stephens then rattled the post with a 25-yard
free-kick, but it was Ipswich who took the lead in the 34th minute
through Campbell.

The Addicks could not clear Andy Drury's cross from the right, Murphy
pulled the ball back and the unmarked Campbell this time made no

Looking forward: Ipswich are moving towards safety under Mick McCarthy

Looking forward: Ipswich are moving towards safety under Mick McCarthy

Town goalkeeper Henderson saved well from Ricardo Fuller as Charlton
attempted to hit straight back, but instead the hosts found themselves
two behind at the break.

Stephens lost the ball and Martin's shot was blocked by Hamer but Murphy
was on hand to tuck in the rebound on the stroke of half-time.

Powell made a double substitution at the break, sending on Bradley
Pritchard and skipper Johnnie Jackson, and they looked a different team
at the start of the second half.

But Rob Hulse's header was held by Henderson before Fuller and Jackson
got in each other's way as they went for Haynes' cross into the area.

Painfully close: Charlton's Dale Stephens hit the woodwork with this effort

Painfully close: Charlton's Dale Stephens hit the woodwork with this effort

However, they were given a lifeline in the 72nd minute when Martin
tripped overlapping full-back Chris Solly in the area and Haynes blasted
the spot-kick into the top corner.

Fuller was forced out of the Charlton attack with a shoulder injury but
the Addicks still piled forward in search of an equaliser.

Hulse was denied by the feet of Henderson and Stephens' free-kick flew narrowly wide.

In four minutes frantic minutes of added time Stephens drove another
shot the wrong side of the post and an overhead kick from Yann
Kermorgant flew over the crossbar, but Ipswich held on to edge further
clear of the drop zone.

Millwall 0 Charlton 0: Stalemate between in-form sides in Den derby

Millwall 0 Charlton 0: Stalemate between in-form sides in Den derby


17:44 GMT, 1 December 2012



17:44 GMT, 1 December 2012

Millwall and Charlton maintained their unbeaten runs as two of the npower Championship's in-form sides shared a hard-fought goalless draw in the south London derby at The Den.

Liam Feeney and Chris Wood both failed to hit the target with good opportunities in a first half dominated by the hosts.

Substitute Dany N'Guessan came closest to opening the deadlock after the break with a close-range header that was cleared off the line by Chris Solly, but a resolute Addicks defence ensured the points were shared.

Scramble! Millwall's Shane Lowry is thwarted by the outstretched leg of Rob Hulse in the goalless Championship draw at The Den

Scramble! Millwall's Shane Lowry is thwarted by the outstretched leg of Rob Hulse in the goalless Championship draw at The Den

Over the bar: Chris Taylor of Millwall sent this header narrowly off target as both sides failed to break the deadlock

Over the bar: Chris Taylor of Millwall sent this header narrowly off target as both sides failed to break the deadlock

Match facts

Millwall: Forde, Shittu, Lowry, Feeney (N'Guessan 67), Beevers, Smith, Wright, C Taylor, Abdou, Keogh, Wood

Subs not used: M Taylor, Smith, Osborne, Malone, Racon, Batt

Charlton: Harner, Solly, Seaborne, Cort, Dervite, Jackson, Stephens, Pritchard, Kerkar (Green 73), Kermorgant (Wright-Phillips 81), Hulse

Subs not used: Button, Taylor, Jonsson, Frimpong, Haynes

Bookings: Jackson

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northampton)

Attendance: 18,013


The result meant Chris Powell's men were undefeated in six games, while the Lions extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches.

Kenny Jackett's side were unchanged from Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Wolves, while Powell made three changes to his team.

Ricardo Fuller was ruled out with a hamstring problem, meaning Rob Hulse led the line alongside Yann Kermorgant.

Dale Stephens earned a recall in place of Emmanuel Frimpong, who dropped to the bench, and Dorian Dervite replaced the suspended Michael Morrison in central defence.

In front of a sell-out crowd, the home side started brightly, with Feeney trying his luck with a driving run and shot in the opening minute.

So close: Chris Wood went close to sending the home fans into celebration with this attempt that drifted a fraction wide

So close: Chris Wood went close to sending the home fans into celebration with this attempt that drifted a fraction wide

Letting fly: Rob Hulse gets a shot away for Charlton as Danny Shittu dives for cover

Letting fly: Rob Hulse gets a shot away for Charlton as Danny Shittu dives for cover

Feeney was involved moments later, bursting past Daniel Seaborne and delivering a dangerous ball across goal, but the visitors were able to clear their lines.

Kermorgant then flicked the ball into the path of Hulse, whose shot was blocked by Josh Wright after 10 minutes, as both teams looked to break the deadlock in a hectic opening period.

Feeney continued to threaten on the right wing, but when his deep cross picked out Chris Taylor, the ex-Oldham man was unable to hit the target with a weak header.

Hulse's left-footed volley from a narrow angle flashed wide after 27 minutes, before Feeney spurned a great chance to give the hosts the lead.

Andy Keogh, playing with a broken toe, whipped in a great ball to the back post, but Feeney was unable to make a clean contact on the stretch, having got in front of a dozing Seaborne, as his effort bobbled just wide.

Break: Dale Stephens gets away from Millwall's Josh Wright

Break: Dale Stephens gets away from Millwall's Josh Wright

Touchline battle: Charlton's Chris Powell protests to Kenny Jackett on the sidelines

Touchline battle: Charlton's Chris Powell protests to Kenny Jackett on the sidelines

Jackett's men began to impose themselves on the game, and made another good opening minutes later, but Wood's weak close-range effort failed to trouble Ben Hamer in the Addicks' goal.

Six minutes before the interval, Dervite's headed clearance fell to the feet of former Charlton trainee Wright, who struck a speculative 25-yard volley which looped over the bar.

The Lions continued to build pressure, and Nadjim Abdou was unlucky not to give the hosts the half-time advantage after unleashing a right-footed strike which flew wide.

Neither side was able to forge a clear opening immediately after the break, as Powell's side made the game a more even contest.

Snapshot: Andy Keogh went close with this shot but was denied by the Charlton keeper Ben Hamer

Snapshot: Andy Keogh went close with this shot but was denied by the Charlton keeper Ben Hamer

The visitors' improvement forced Jackett to replace the stunted Feeney with former Addicks loanee N'Guessan midway through the second half.

The change injected life back into the home side, as Keogh forced Hamer into a fingertip save with a stinging drive on the counter-attack.

Wright's 76th-minute corner then presented N'Guessan with the best opportunity of the half, but Solly kept out the substitute's free header.

Powell introduced Bradley Wright-Phillips nine minutes from time to increase the visitors' attacking threat, but the game ended in stalemate.

Charlton 2 Peterborough 0 – match report:

Charlton 2 Peterborough 0: Majestic Fuller helps hosts ensure unbeaten run continues



22:26 GMT, 27 November 2012

Ricardo Fuller's moment of magic helped Charlton extend their unbeaten run to five matches at the expense of bottom-place Peterborough this evening.

The Addicks came into the match buoyed by a return of 10 points from their past four matches, which had propelled them up to 15th in the npower Championship.

Chris Powell's men impressed in the first half at The Valley but failed to take their chances, with Bradley Pritchard then hitting the post moments after the restart.

Magical moment: Ricardo Fuller ensured Charlotn's unbeaten run stretched to five games

Magical moment: Ricardo Fuller ensured Charlotn's unbeaten run stretched to five games


Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Cort, Morrison, Seaborne, Pritchard, Frimpong (Green 74), Jackson, Kerkar, Fuller (Hulse 78), Kermorgant (Jonsson 90).

Subs Not Used: Button,Stephens,Wright-Phillips, Dervite.

Booked: Morrison, Frimpong.

Goals: Fuller 77,Kermorgant 85.

Peterborough: Olejnik,Little,Knight-Percival, Brisley (Swanson 84), Bostwick, Newell, McCann, Boyd, Thorne, Gayle, Tomlin.

Subs Not Used: Day, Alcock, Zakuani, Ferdinand, Clarke-Harris, Carthey.

Booked: Bostwick.

Attendance: 17,377

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).


That header jolted Peterborough into
life and they looked more likely to win until taking a sucker punch 13
minutes from time when Fuller fired in a fine effort from 25 yards.

Unfortunately the Jamaican had to be
brought off immediately afterwards due to injury, but Charlton fans were
soon cheering again as Yann Kermorgant tapped home a late second goal.

It was the Frenchman's first start
since mid September and he quickly made his mark in south London,
testing Bobby Olejnik inside the opening two minutes.

The former Aston Villa goalkeeper
denied Kermorgant's snapshot and then saw a Emmanuel Frimpong effort
deflect just over his crossbar.

After Leon Cort did excellently to
turn away an effort from on-loan Dwight Gayle at the other end,
Arsenal's Frimpong again came close from distance as Charlton continued
to press for an early opener.

Johnnie Jackson should have done
better with a close-range header in the 17th minute, before Addicks
goalkeeper Ben Hamer stopped a fizzing Michael Bostwick strike.

Pritchard was denied when Charlton
returned to the attack, before Michael Morrison was booked, ruling him
out of Saturday's derby clash at Millwall.

It epitomised the home side's
increasing frustration as they struggled to break down Peterborough's
resolute defence, with Fuller thwarted by Olejnik's legs when he did
eventually find space.

Peterborough ended the half on top
and, after Gayle headed over a chance to mark his full debut with a
goal, Hamer had to flick over a George Boyd strike.

Kermorgant sent a diving header wide
shortly when the sides returned for the second half, before Pritchard's
close-range header rattled the post.

Those efforts seemed to spur Darren Ferguson's side into life, with Hamer forced into action to stop a low Lee Tomlin hit.

George Thorne put wide and then Gayle
was denied as Posh continued to threaten, before Boyd's shot deflected
off Tomlin onto the post.

Peterborough rained in shots as they controlled the play, with Tomlin denied a 72nd-minute penalty.
The 518 visiting fans were in good voice and looked set to leave with a
point or better until Fuller lashed home from distance five minutes

While the summer signing had to
hobble off immediately, Powell's side were celebrating again five
minutes from time when Kermorgant turned in substitute Danny Green's
right-wing cross.

Charlton 0 Barnsley 1 – match report

Charlton 0 Barnsley 1: Cywka strike earns Tykes deserved win



16:35 GMT, 20 October 2012

Tomasz Cywka struck midway through the second half to clinch Barnsley's second away win of the season in the npower Championship at shot-shy Charlton.

The Polish midfielder fired home an angled drive in the 64th minute as Keith Hill's side registered their second win in seven league matches to climb up to 16th place in the table.

It was no less than the Tykes deserved as they dominated from start to finish, while Charlton have now failed to win any of their last five league matches and offered nothing in this encounter until second-half substitute Bradley Pritchard forced visiting goalkeeper Ben Alnwick into a fine save late in the game.

Oh no: Charlton's Leon Cort (left) holds his head as he walks off the field with Michael Morrison

Oh no: Charlton's Leon Cort (left) holds his head as he walks off the field with Michael Morrison


Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Morrison, Cort, Solly,Green (Pritchard 68), Stephens, Hollands (Jackson 46), Kerkar, Fuller, Razak (Wright-Phillips 46).

Subs Not Used: Button, Evina, Hulse, Dervite.

Booked: Stephens, Solly, Wilson.

Barnsley: Alnwick, Stones, Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, Mellis (Etuhu 89), Dawson, Perkins, Cywka (Hassell 90), Dagnall, Davies (Harewood 90).

Subs Not Used: Steele, Done, Rose, Kennedy.

Booked: Golbourne, Dawson.

Goals: Cywka 64.

Att: 26,185

Ref: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire).

Click here for the latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Barnsley were the more enterprising
side in the first 20 minutes with midfield trio Stephen Dawson, Jacob
Mellis and Tomasz Cywka peppering the Charlton goal with shots from
outside the penalty area.

Charlton struggled to mount a threat
on the visitors' goal and Barnsley striker Chris Dagnall went close to
breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute when his angled effort from
inside the penalty area was well held by home goalkeeper Ben Hamer.

Tykes forward Craig Davies, who made
his first appearance for Wales in almost five years against Scotland in
midweek, was foiled by a Charlton defender Leon Cort's last-gasp block
as the visitors continued to chase an opening goal and it was not until
three minutes before the break that Barnsley goalkeeper Ben Alnwick was
pressed into action.

Barnsley defender Scott Golbourne
fouled Charlton midfielder Danny Green on the edge of the area and
Alnwick pushed Dale Stephens' subsequent free-kick over the crossbar.

But the Tykes finished the first half on top, with Mellis going close again with a fierce 25-yard effort that whistled wide.

Charlton manager Chris Powell sent on
Johnnie Jackson and Bradley Wright-Phillips for Danny Hollands and
Abdul Razak respectively during the break in a bid to spark some life
into his side.

Come on: Chris Powell could not inspire his side

Come on: Chris Powell could not inspire his side

Barnsley continued to force the play
after the restart however and Dagnall went close again in the 53rd
minute when he flashed a volley from Mellis' floated free-kick just
passed Hamer's right-hand post.

The South Yorkshire side secured the
goal they deserved in the 64th minute. The ball was worked neatly to the
left side of Charlton's penalty area and Cwyka latched on to the ball
and lashed home a venomous right-footed finish high into the roof of the
net from 12 yards.

Powell sent on his third substitute,
Bradley Pritchard, for Green in the 68th minute, but Alnwick was still
redundant in the Barnsley goal as the Addicks struggled to muster
anything worthwhile in attack.

Stephens, in the 74th minute, dragged
his shot from the edge of the penalty area off target and substitute
Pritchard fired an effort from similar distance straight at Alnwick.

But shots on goal by Powell's side
could be counted on the fingers of one hand and Pritchard's late effort
from inside the area in the 89th minute was too little too late for the

Blackpool 0 Charlton 2: Cort and Solly steal the points for Athletic in gritty Bloomfield Road affair

Blackpool 0 Charlton 2: Cort and Solly steal the points for Athletic in gritty Bloomfield Road affair



16:58 GMT, 6 October 2012

Chris Solly's second-half thunderbolt sealed three points for Charlton as they condemned Blackpool to a third defeat in four games with a 2-0 victory at Bloomfield Road.

The 21-year-old fired in from 20 yards 17 minutes from time to earn back-to-back away wins for Chris Powell's side.

Leon Cort had headed the opener early in the second half as the Tangerines' woes continued.

Blackpool's Tiago Gomes fouls Charlton Athletic's Ricardo Fuller

Late challenge: Blackpool's Tiago Gomes fouls Charlton's Ricardo Fuller in a heavy first half tackle


Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Ferguson, Osbourne (Dicko 66), Gomes (Ince 52), Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso (Kevin Phillips 62), Matt Phillips.

Subs Not Used: Halstead, Sylvestre, Cathcart, Martinez.

Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Cort, Morrison, Solly, Green (Pritchard 20), Stephens, Razak (Dervite 79), Hollands, Kerkar, Fuller (Hulse 84).

Subs Not Used: Button, Evina, Wright-Phillips, Wagstaff.

Goals: Cort 49,Solly 73.

Att: 13,482

Ref: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).

Click here for the latest npower Championship results, fixtures and table

Blackpool, boosted by the return to
the bench of top-scorer Tom Ince following two games out, could have
edged in front in the 18th minute when Matt Phillips lined up a shot
from 18 yards only to be denied by a block from Charlton centre-half
Michael Morrison.

Addicks boss Powell was then forced
into an early change as former Dagenham midfielder Danny Green limped
off injured to be replaced by Bradley Pritchard before Jamaican striker
Ricardo Fuller rattled the Blackpool crossbar midway through the opening

Blackpool's Ian Evatt and Charlton Athletic's Ricardo Fuller

Blackpool's Ian Evatt and Charlton Athletic's Ricardo Fuller

French midfielder Salim Kerkar, a
summer signing from Rangers, whipped in a low corner from the right
which was met by the stooping figure off Fuller but his header bounced
down off the underside of the bar and away.

In an absorbing opening period, Ian Holloway's man responded to nearly going behind with two efforts of their own.

Striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher
attempted an audacious chip from 40 yards which landed on the roof of
Ben Hamer's goal before Phillips forced the Addicks goalkeeper to save
low down to his left with a drilled strike.

Danger man Fuller threatened again on the stroke of half-time when his 12-yard drive was tipped around a post by Matt Gilks.

The south Londoners continued to
cause Blackpool problems from set-pieces and broke the deadlock four
minutes after the interval.

Dale Stephens swung a corner over
from the left and centre-back Cort rose unchallenged to send a thumping
header past Gilks for his second goal of the season.

Home manager Holloway reacted to the
setback by introducing Ince in place of Portuguese midfielder Tiago
Gomes but his usually free-scoring side were struggling to create

The next goal was always likely to
prove decisive and it was Charlton who extended their lead 17 minutes
from time. Left-back Solly seized on the ball after Stephens' shot had
deflected into his path to strike an unstoppable drive into the top
right-hand corner with the outside of his right foot.

Substitute Nouha Dicko, who was
thrown on with fellow striker Kevin Phillips prior to Solly's strike,
came close to a consolation for the home side but his right-foot volley
flew wide of the right-hand upright.

And Athletic held out to record a second clean sheet of the season and a first win at Bloomfield Road since 1981.

Charlton Athletic's Bradley Pritchard is tackled by Blackpool's Stephen Crainey

Tough tackle: Charlton's Bradley Pritchard puts a good challenge in on Blackpool's Stephen Crainey

Damon Hill: Lewis Hamilton had to quit McLaren

Lewis had to quit McLaren… they'd managed him to within an inch of his life



21:15 GMT, 29 September 2012

Lewis Hamilton's gamble of committing the prime years of his career to Mercedes, rather than McLaren, has won the approval of former world champion Damon Hill.

'Lewis has been like a caged bird at McLaren,' said Hill. 'He'd been managed to within an inch of his life. I can't blame him for looking to move elsewhere.'

Time to move on: Lewis Hamilton will bank at least 60m from his move to Mercedes

Time to move on: Lewis Hamilton will bank at least 60m from his move to Mercedes

At Mercedes, Hamilton will receive the freedom to capitalise on his own commercial value as well as banking as much as 60million from the three-year contract that has persuaded him to abandon the team that nurtured him from childhood.

'Lewis needed to leave McLaren to stretch his wings,' argued Hill.

Hamilton had become disillusioned with the culture at McLaren defined by company chairman Ron Dennis, who had steered Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, the late Ayrton Senna, and Mika Hakkinen to world championships before grooming Hamilton to stardom.

Despite their success, Lauda, Prost and Senna all felt compelled to break with McLaren, as Hamilton has done.

McLaren drivers are required to make more personal appearances for a host of sponsors than their rivals.

The space on their racing suit is owned by the team, as are the trophies they win.

Hamilton was not the first to try, and fail, to change that policy; but, ultimately, he felt the restrictions on him had become claustrophobic, a sentiment echoed by his manager, Simon Fuller, whose XIX Entertainment company held up star client David Beckham as an example of what opportunities could be open to a man with global appeal.

Good deal: Damon Hill says teams and drivers have conflicting priorities

Brokered deal: Niki Lauda

Different ideas: Hill (left) says teams and drivers have conflicting priorities, while Lauda (right) brokered deal

Mercedes principal Ross Brawn acknowledged the part Fuller played in moving Hamilton from McLaren.

'Lewis's management expressed interest, wanted to know what our plans were and it grew from there,' said Brawn.

Hill believes McLaren's inflexible approach to drivers through the ages contributed to Hamilton's decision to leave the team.

'I could never get my head around the logic that the team takes the driver's trophy,' said Hill, who won 22 Formula One races.

'It's the principle, not the trophy, that is at stake. After you have won a championship, and jumped through a lot of hoops, there is a point when you think: “This is my life”. You can have a bellyful of becoming a performing seal. You don't want to be on probation for your whole career.

'Of course, you still have to fight inside the car; but there is a time when, surely, you have proved you can motivate yourself. These are things Lewis has tried to balance.

'This is quite a shift in the power balance in Formula One. It shows a driver is a more important ingredient in the sport than the teams like to think.

'Formula One would do well to remember the public relates to a driver's career path more than any team with the exception of Ferrari. The rest are just operations. To the public, the sport is about the drivers.

'There is a huge disconnect between the philosophy of a team and a driver. Drivers just want to race, they don't see Formula One as a marketing exercise or product development. To a team, a driver is a hired hand. But drivers have a right to a career path. They don't belong to a team.'

Hill engaged in talks with McLaren at one period in his career, after winning the world championship for Williams in 1996.

Replacing Hamilton: Sergio Perez steps in with a monster deal at McLaren

Replacing Hamilton: Sergio Perez steps in with a monster deal at McLaren

He departed for Arrows, a team at the wrong end of the grid, on a reported 3 million salary in the year he declined the new contract he was offered by Frank Williams.

'I feel very close to Williams but they didn't always feel close to me,' said Hill, who provided Eddie Jordan's team with their first grand prix win before he retired.

Brawn, who masterminded seven world titles for Michael Schumacher, at Benetton, then Ferrari, has persuaded Hamilton that the introduction of new engine regulations, introducing 1.6 turbo power plants in Formula One from 2014, will shift the axis of power towards the German car giants.

The jury is still out, however.

In the past three years, Mercedes have won just one grand prix while McLaren have won 16.

Yet the intervention of Lauda, invited by Mercedes' main board to broker a deal with Hamilton, finally persuaded the 27-year-old to accept the challenge of making the team champions.

Mexican Sergio Perez, 22, will replace Hamilton at McLaren on a three-year 20 million contract.

'Of course, Lewis has taken a risk,' said Hill.

'Mercedes don't have a track record like McLaren but, as a driver in Formula One, you have to look at what's coming down the track a couple of years ahead. It will be interesting to see how Mercedes up.'

Lewis Hamilton handed 2m sweetener by McLaren

McLaren hatch 2m plan to lure Hamilton into signing new deal



21:30 GMT, 24 September 2012

McLaren are pinning their hopes of persuading Lewis Hamilton to stay on a 2million sweetener and the belief he will not risk a move to under-performing Mercedes.

The improved and, in all likelihood, final offer from McLaren averages out at 12m a season over three years. It is still 3m down on his current deal, which expires at the end of the campaign and which Mercedes have already offered to match.

Out of luck: Hamilton was forced to retire from Sunday's race after a gearbox failure

Out of luck: Hamilton was forced to retire from Sunday's race after a gearbox failure

But Woking-based McLaren are confident that despite the wage cut, Hamilton will re-sign as early as this week. He has been impressed with the speed of his car this season and its development.

Yet Hamilton, 27, is very tempted by the prospect of working under Ross Brawn at Mercedes, the man who helped guide Michael Schumacher to seven world titles, and has received assurances the German team will get funds to become front-runners.

Time's up: Schumacher could call time on his second career in Formula One

Time's up: Schumacher could call time on his second career in Formula One

A meeting of the Mercedes board is due to take place on Wednesday and news that Schumacher will retire could follow.

Hamilton's managers, Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment, insist their client will be the one to decide if he replaces Schumacher.

But there is a big disparity in the value McLaren place on Hamilton's image rights and the figure XIX believe they could generate should he move.

Hamilton is allowed only one personal sponsor – Reebok – by McLaren. At Mercedes, he could have a larger portfolio of sponsors.

McLaren line up Sergio Perez to replace Lewis Hamilton

McLaren boss lines up Perez to replace Hamilton as contract talks hit crisis



20:56 GMT, 15 September 2012

Mexican Sergio Perez is being lined up to replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren as the British star's contract negotiations reach crisis point.

Only a week after McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted the team did not have a 'Plan B', it is understood contact has been made with Perez as Hamilton ponders a 60million offer from Mercedes.

Pole position: Sergio Perez lined up to replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren

Pole position: Sergio Perez lined up to replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren

McLaren's approach to the 22-year-old Sauber driver is an indication the team are growing impatient with the negotiating strategy of Hamilton's management, XIX Entertainment.

The agency is controlled by Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls, David Beckham, Andy Murray and creator of the Pop Idol TV franchise.

The move is the beginning of the end game. Hamilton may find his future is taken out of his own hands with the spectre of Perez being courted by McLaren, who do not want to be outmanoeuvred by the 27-year-old British driver.

A senior Formula One insider said: 'Lewis Hamilton is playing with fire, and when you play with fire sometimes you get your fingers burned. He'd be crazy to leave McLaren. If he wants to know what happens when you leave a top team to chase money, he needs only to Google Jacques Villeneuve.'

Rebel: Hamilton has been warned 'he's playing with fire'

Rebel: Hamilton has been warned 'he's playing with fire'

Villeneuve's story is a salutary
lesson for all drivers, even one as brilliant as Hamilton. Having won
the 1997 World Championship with Williams – a team with a rich,
race-winning Grand Prix heritage – Villeneuve accepted a multi-million
pound pay rise to drive for the fledgling BAR team pieced together by
his manager Craig Pollock.

Villeneuve never won another race, BAR evolved into BAR Honda which, in
turn, evolved into Brawn, then Mercedes; and the Canadian driver
eventually left Formula One seven years later as a fallen star.

Fuller's desire, in his first foray into Formula One's political and notoriously ruthless world, is to create a contract for Hamilton that will allow him to develop his own brand beyond those of McLaren's current sponsorship partners, numbering 30 in total. To McLaren chairman Ron Dennis this is anathema. His company, and the world titles won by men like Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna, has always been dependent on the income generated by commercial partners. They, in return, have access to McLaren's drivers.

Main man: Simon Fuller

Talks: Simon Fuller

Hamilton is believed to be unsettled by
the refusal of these demands and also by the salary offer on the table.
The five-year deal negotiated by his father, Anthony, in 2007, was worth
a total of 75m on a sliding scale, with this final year paying him
about 18m. Sources close to XIX Entertainment claim Hamilton is being
asked to take a pay cut to re-sign for McLaren, who groomed him from the
age of 13.

This is flatly denied by McLaren. Informed speculation is that McLaren have proposed a deal close to 45m for a two-year contract, plus one-year option.

Mercedes have put an offer before XIX Entertainment that, with bonuses, could be worth 60m to Hamilton over the same three-year period from 2013.

They would also give XIX Entertainment the leeway to broaden Hamilton's brand into new markets. Mercedes have another card to play: the team are directed by Englishman Ross Brawn, who won seven world championships with Michael Schumacher, five with Ferrari and two with Benetton, and another with Jenson Button, team-mate to Hamilton at McLaren.

Hamilton has won two of the last three races, and Button the other, as McLaren demonstrate they once again have the fastest car on the grid ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix next weekend.

Is it wise to abandon McLaren, with a record of winning one of every four grand prix races, to take a gamble on Mercedes

There"s no plan B… McLaren chief Whitmarsh gambles on Hamilton signing new deal

There's no plan B… McLaren chief Whitmarsh gambles on Hamilton signing new deal



12:13 GMT, 10 September 2012

Martin Whitmarsh has surprisingly revealed there is no plan B should Lewis Hamilton decide to quit McLaren.

It would appear McLaren's team principal is placing all his eggs in one basket, firmly believing Hamilton will not walk out on a team that has taken care of his career for the last 14 years.

The Italian Grand Prix this weekend was a reminder to Hamilton – if it were ever needed – of just how good his life is at McLaren, even if he believes he has not won the number of titles his talent deserves with the Woking-based marque.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton after the Italian Grand Prix at Monza

Martin Whitmarsh, the Team Principal of McLaren

Plenty to think about: McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh (right) has said there is no plan B should Lewis Hamilton (left) decide to leave the team

It was a reminder to Whitmarsh, too, he has one of the top three drivers in the world on his books and the team should do everything within their financial means to hold on to him.

The 27-year-old was flawless in Monza, following up the 23rd pole of his F1 career with his 20th victory to close the gap on championship leader Fernando Alonso to 37 points with seven grands prix remaining.

It led to Whitmarsh yesterday describing as 'fantasy' the suggestions made by former team principal Eddie Jordan last week that Hamilton had already signed for rivals Mercedes and an announcement of the deal was imminent.

But there are no guarantees Hamilton will stay as it is known his management company, impresario Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment, are talking to Mercedes.

Heading for victory: Hamilton was back to his best at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza over the weekend

Heading for victory: Hamilton was back to his best at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza over the weekend

So when asked whether there was a back-up plan should Hamilton opt not to renew his contract, Whitmarsh replied: 'I haven't given plan B any thought.

'We want Lewis to stay, and we want him to stay if he wants to stay.

'But in terms of when you are trying to win a championship, I've a number of priorities.

'You divide your time, energy and focus on those things – one of them is making the car faster, better; another is dealing with all the operational issues to make sure you don't make mistakes, and the other is dealing with your own drivers.

'But rightly or wrongly I haven't spent a lot of energy on that (plan B) subject.'

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton wins the Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the Italian Grand Prix

Star attraction: Whitmarsh and McLaren know they have one of the top three drivers on the Formula One circuit

Whitmarsh is, however, determined to sit down with Fuller for more talks, hopefully before the next race in Singapore in a fortnight's time.

Fuller has been in New York of late watching another of his clients in action in Andy Murray in the US Open, so no progress has been made these past few days.

'As you know we deal with management companies, not directly with drivers, which is the way of the world – or the way of the drivers – so I'm sure we'll be having those conversations very shortly,' said Whitmarsh.

'I can imagine we'll have some conversations before Singapore.'

It would appear such talks have taken on added priority given the interest from Mercedes, but Whitmarsh insists he has been aware all along of what has been going on behind the scenes.

'I'm aware of quite a lot of things,' said Whitmarsh.

'It's a small paddock and they (XIX) have to be seen to do their due diligence, as you can imagine, so I'm not surprised.

'I have some knowledge, in fact, of what's been going on.'

Champagne moment: Hamilton celebrates in the usual fashion on the podium at Monza

Champagne moment: Hamilton celebrates in the usual fashion on the podium at Monza

To that end, the pressure on the shoulders of Whitmarsh from shareholders and sponsors is likely to be immense because can McLaren realistically afford to be without Hamilton, despite the talents of team-mate Jenson Button

Whitmarsh said: 'McLaren has, since 1966, won 25 per cent of all the races, and if you are team principal of McLaren there is a certain amount of pressure on your shoulders. That's what I'm facing.

'We have to win races and we have to win the championship. There are all sorts of other issues, but that's what makes the adrenaline pump and makes it fun.'

On track at Monza was certainly fun, although a fuel issue with Button's car denied McLaren a one-two and the perfect weekend.

Regardless, it is three successive poles and victories for McLaren, who have become the team to beat, yet they still cannot overtake Alonso in the drivers' championship, nor Red Bull in the constructors', although the latter gap is down to 19 points.

But Whitmarsh said: 'Our recent run is a consequence of fantastic work from everyone at Woking.

'It's a combination of creativity, diligence and working hard that has brought us into a competitive position, and then we've two great drivers.

'We've been talking about some positive momentum, we've clearly some good momentum at the moment, and if we can maintain it there is no reason why we can't win both championships.'

Wimbledon 2012: Tennis takes pole position at BBC – Charles Sale

Tennis takes pole position over Silverstone at the BBC



22:24 GMT, 4 July 2012

The BBC will give precedence to the Wimbledon men’s singles final on Sunday, irrespective of semi-finalist Andy Murray taking part, when coverage clashes with the British Grand Prix.

The Beeb, who flagged up the conflicting dates to no avail with F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, intend to move the Grand Prix from BBC1 to BBC2 just before the start of the Silverstone race at 1pm. This will allow for all the build-up and the tennis showcase action on the main channel.

There is some upset within the Corporation that Ecclestone has scheduled the Grand Prix for the climax of Wimbledon but BBC are now very much the junior TV rights partners since Sky’s arrival in motor racing this year.

Gripped: Fans take in the action on Murray Mount

Gripped: Fans take in the action on Murray Mount

BBC Sport’s chief Paul Davies, who runs their Wimbledon operation, caused upset in 2007 when the men’s final also clashed with Silverstone.

Davies joked during a speech at a media reception at Wimbledon that he hoped Lewis Hamilton crashed on the first lap so viewers would switch over to the tennis — but that was when Formula One was being shown by ITV.

Simon Fuller, who manages Murray and Hamilton, is starting negotiations about the driver’s next F1 contract. But he will be in SW19 not Silverstone on Sunday if Murray is in the final.

It's just not cricket

The London 2012 takeover of Wimbledon will start at noon on Tuesday, but at least All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis can keep working from his office there.

His MCC counterpart Derek Brewer had to move out of the Lord’s pavilion immediately when the Olympic archery preparations started this week at cricket’s HQ.

Fed up to his old tricks

Only six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer could get away with warming up for his quarter-final win on Wednesday in a T-shirt emblazoned with his own picture.

Easy does it: Federer breezed past Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets

Easy does it: Federer breezed past Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets

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Federer’s sky-high self-opinion extends to his claim about playing his fan David Goffin in the French Open: ‘I guess it was a nice situation for him as he idolised me. But that has been the case with many.’

And the amusing rogue Federer Twitter account @PseudoFed tweeted this week about late finishes on Centre Court: ‘I can confirm the “special circumstances” that would have allowed them to play past 11pm would be ME #humble.’

Bernie brains behind roof

Bernie Ecclestone, whose plans for a grand prix around central London seem far-fetched, had talked about putting a roof on Centre Court before the All England Club did so.

After watching a rain-interrupted Goran Ivanisevic match with fellow billionaire Ion Tiriac, former manager of Boris Becker, Ecclestone suggested he would fund the entire cost of the roof with Tiriac provided they could share future profits with the AEC.

Umpire changes call

Gerry Armstrong, assistant referee at Wimbledon and devoted Tottenham fan, said last week that if Andre Villas-Boas became Spurs manager, he would return his season ticket. But after AVB’s arrival, umpire Armstrong changed his call and will keep his seat.

Murray excited by Olympic prospect

Andy Murray is intending to stay in the Olympic Village for at least some of the tennis tournament at Wimbledon, with London 2012 promising to transport competitors from Stratford accommodation in approximately an hour.

Murray reveals in the International Tennis Federation book celebrating Olympic tennis that the Beijing Games was one of the best moments of his career despite the way he played (he lost in the first round).

Second coming: Murray competes at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

Second coming: Murray competes at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

He called it amazing to see American superstar basketball players Kobe Bryant and LeBron James tucking into a McDonald’s in the athletes food court with no one bothering them.

But Murray, who is preparing properly for the Olympics, will not be impressed the Lawn Tennis Association’s medal prospect estimate is one semi-final at best.

Philipps off the radar

The Bermuda triangle where so many former employees of the dysfunctional LTA have vanished over the years seems to have swallowed up Bruce Philipps, communications chief and right-hand man to CEO Roger Draper until he left after last year’s tournament.

Philipps has set up a consultancy, Altius Sports, which has no clients listed on its website. Nor has Philipps been contactable during the tournament.