GIVEN the City’s penchant for all things football-related, it’s something of a miracle that the new London Nominees Football Fund has managed to keep its launch virtually entirely under wraps – particularly as it’s got some of the beautiful game’s best known names on board.
The fund officially launched at the beginning of the month, boasting ex-Brazilian superstar Carlos Alberto Torres as its chairman of football and former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson as a key adviser.
The fund has started with $40m in assets under management, which is hardly enough to set it up for a club acquisition, though it claims to be targeting investments in new ideas and growth opportunities instead.
“Our team, while focused on business, is as much driven by the love of the sport as the goal of well-earned profit,” gushes Torres. “The fund empowers clubs, academies, and businesses around the world to advance the sport, and to make the dreams of tomorrow’s players a reality… Unlike equities, up and down with global markets, football is in the park, playground, local stadium, national news, the World Cup; every day, the heartbeat of a sporting world...”
Sounds like the fund’s going to be so popular, it’ll have to beat off herds of potential investors with a stick.
SICK OF PIIGS
It appears Barclays Capital has come over all politically-correct on us after sending out a memo insisting that all analysts refrain from using the acronym “PIIGS” to describe Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain – the five countries whose disastrous public finances are causing a headache for the rest of the Eurozone.
“[The memo] didn’t say why, although it seems obvious,” grumbles one insider. A stinking shame it is too, in The Capitalist’s book.
Trouble is brewing at Tory private members haunt the Carlton Club, judging by an email doing the rounds after the club’s most recent committee meeting in January. Apparently, the meeting got a little heated over deputy chairman John East’s snap decision to open the Morning Room to the lady members present after the club’s Christmas lunch last year.
“Some members were not happy with his decision and he apologised for this,” sniffs the latest missive, tail between its legs. “He is happy to extend that apology to any other members present, who were upset by his decision…” Ladies in the morning room? My, my, whatever next?
Finally, a touch of irony to a revelation made at the weekend by Irene Rosenfeld, the chief executive of Kraft, who is still at polite loggerheads with Lord Mandelson over her company’s takeover of Cadbury despite the fact that the business secretary admits he has no power to veto her decisions.
Funny, then, that Rosenfeld says she relaxes by playing the piano – notably songs by Barry Manilow. Room, perhaps, for a subtle jibe about “sending you away, oh Mandy”?