2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza
23:22 GMT, 17 November 2012
The biggest British stars of the summer's Olympics are capitalising on their Games glory with autobiographies aimed at the lucrative Christmas market – but the giants of the Paralympics are missing out after failing to anticipate a booming demand for their own inspirational stories.
Olympic gold medal winners Bradley Wiggins, Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and Chris Hoy have all got new or updated books on the shelves or in production, and hope to spend the festive season revelling in the fruits of their literary labours.
Missing out: Four-time 2012 gold winner David Weir
But no books are expected soon, certainly not this year, by arguably the three stand-out stars of the Paralympics: four-times 2012 gold winner David Weir, double gold-winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds, 18, and Jonnie Peacock, 19, who became a megastar in the T44 100 metres.
Simmonds' spokesman, Adam Wheatley, said no book had been planned because 'we didn't want to pre-empt success or apply any additional pressure to have a publisher writing copy during training and getting pictures pre-Olympics.'
He added that talks are on-going with publishers but 'we were very conscious not to trot a book out just for the Christmas market, it has to be right'.
Peacock's name was chanted by 80,000 fans in the Olympic Stadium before winning a final in which he left Paralympic legend Oscar Pistorius in his wake and eventually fourth. His agent, Lu Napthine, said there are 'no concrete plans' for a book, but his advisers are 'keen to capitalise on the interest in Jonnie at the moment on the back of the Paralympics'.
Covered: Gold medal winner Bradley Wiggins
Weir is expected to tell his own compelling story in an autobiography ghosted by the BBC's highly respected sports editor David Bond, although one source concedes that better planning and a realisation that the Paralympics were going to be such a hit might have led to swifter publication.
'Some publishers say these books should be out now, in 2012, and might miss their moment,' said one publishing source.
Another, veteran literary agent David Luxton, who has worked on autobiographies by Jenson Button, Mark Cavendish, Fernando Torres and Robbie Fowler among others, said: 'If books are brought out next year, it is quite likely that there will be other elements to the stories because they will have moved on with their careers and lives that will make it a good read and strong selling point.'
A new poll of 1,200 people conducted by StreetGames, a charity that promotes sport for young people in deprived communities, cements the notion that both summer Games gripped the nation equally, finding that the five most inspirational athletes of the summer to young people were Ennis, Simmonds, Farah, Pendleton and Peacock.
Premiership clubs are accused of docking England players' wages
Some of England's leading Premiership rugby clubs stand accused of 'morally abhorrent' behaviour for issuing contracts that see players docked up to half of their weekly salaries (as much as 2,500 in some cases) for playing for England.
Europe's top clubs were last week heavily criticised for allegedly blackmailing players from Fiji and other Pacific nations to turn their backs on Test rugby in order to bolster their clubs' league hopes on international weekends.
Now Inside Sport has learned that despite being financially rewarded by the RFU for producing home-grown talent, top Premiership clubs are understood to dock player's wages if they miss a first-team fixture in order to play for their country.
The practice is a clear breach of International Rugby Board Regulation 9.3, which states: 'No union, association, rugby body or club, whether by contract, conduct or otherwise, may inhibit, prevent, discourage, dis-incentivise or render unavailable any player from selection, attendance and appearance in a national representative team or national squad session.'
England players receive up to 15,000 in national appearance fees but Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley insists the practice of reducing club salaries remains a serious blight on the game.
'It is something we have taken up with all parties because we don't think it is fair,' he said.
'It is immoral to penalise a player for reaching his potential in international sport … morally it is abhorrent. … there are three clubs that we know currently practise it.
'It is disappointing and we are working as hard as possible to put an end to it.'
Veteran former BBC commentator Clive Everton was the 'voice of snooker' during the golden age of the baize in the Eighties when up to 18.5million watched the world finals.
But in a new book that also details his demise at the Beeb, where he was axed from regular slots in 2009, he claims 'the first clear sign of trouble' arrived in 2006 when he wrote 'an accurate but unflattering profile' of Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, who had been drafted on to snooker's ruling body.
Everton says this upset acquaintances of Richards, who worked for the independent firm that produced the BBC's coverage, and his position was shaky from that point onwards. Sir Dave did not respond to requests for a comment.