Rooney's second book flop leaves publishes unsure over future titles
07:05 GMT, 22 October 2012
The remarkably poor sales of Wayne Rooney’s latest book charting 10 years in the top flight demonstrate that the recession in the football book market shows no sign of ending.
Publishers HarperCollins are understood to have sold only about 6,000 copies of Wayne Rooney — My Decade In The Premier League in the six weeks since the launch.
The low uptake follows huge publicity from a newspaper serialisation as well as coinciding with a period when Rooney has been constantly in the headlines through his England captaincy, the 10th anniversary of his spectacular entry into Premier League with that winning strike for Everton against Arsenal, his 200th club goal and wife Coleen expecting their second child.
hands up who wants my book: Wayne Rooney's second release has sold just 6,000
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HarperCollins held crisis talks last year over the future of their 12-year, 5million, five-book deal with Rooney even before the delayed publication of this second in the series.
The lack of interest makes it more unlikely a further three books will see the light of day before the deal ends in 2018.
The setback follows Rooney failing to agree a new contract with EA Sports, who have Lionel Messi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Hart on the UK cover of their flagship computer game FIFA 2013. Rooney had been a cover fixture since 2005.
No long face
In contrast to the lack of Rooney books sold, broadcasting darling Clare Balding is determined that her young life story My Animals And Other Family heads the Christmas bestseller list.
So much so that she sandwiched her BBC presenting of Frankel’s glory run in the Champions Stakes between two book signing sessions at Ascot.
Balding also hosted a question and answer session for kids in the parade ring before the racing, at which she took every opportunity to plug the book as well.
Such is the worldwide market- ability of David Beckham, his agents XIX see him earning more money than ever when his playing career finishes.
A sign of that commercial potential is the filming of Beckham’s latest advert for H&M underwear being directed by Guy Ritchie.
Mr Marketable: David Beckham's business team will continue to make money after his career
Missing medal men
Conspicuous by their absence from the UK Athletics golden fundraising gala dinner at the Royal Courts of Justice were two out of the three London 2012 gold medal winners from track and field — Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, as well as four-gold Paralympian David Weir.
Farah lives in the United States, Rutherford was recovering from ankle and hernia operations and Weir’s partner has just had a baby.
Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz was the star of the evening, clearing two metres dressed in just his underpants with his run-up between the dinner tables.
Jessica Ennis stood under the bar beforehand to demonstrate how high Grabarz was jumping. And a couple paid 5,000 for a hug and kiss from Robbie after his leap.
It’s good to talk, Queally
There is talk of putting a commitment to media promotion into the conditions for taking part in British Champions Day racing or introducing a financial incentive for PR co-operation.
This follows upset at superhorse Frankel’s introvert jockey Tom Queally not wanting to do radio or TV interviews at the main promotional event last week.
Let's talk: Tom Queally rode Frankel to record-breaking glory at Ascot
Queally, who fulfilled all media requests after Frankel’s triumph, is understood to be wary of racing journalists since he was fairly criticised for the ride he gave Frankel at last year’s Royal Ascot.
The drawing power of Frankel ensured Ascot was a sell-out for British Champions Day. But the organisers, whose Champion Series is a marketing tool rather than fulfilling the original intention of bringing a narrative to the Flat season, know they face a huge task filling Ascot next year following Frankel’s retirement.
But they are making the most of the Frankel effect by putting tickets on sale today.
There is big concern among stable lads at John Dunlop’s Arundel base about their future when the 73-year-old trainer retires next month.
The Duke of Norfolk, who owns the stables, has yet to find another trainer prepared to pay the expensive rent and might even renovate the site for other uses.