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John Terry troubles grow following row with former agent over 4m Umbro deal
Published : 03 Feb 2010 09:22:10Rss feed
The conflict follows Terry's decision to sever his ties with Lincoln, the former Chelsea kit-man who negotiated the deal on his behalf. Telegraph Sport understands that Lincoln claims to be entitled to a percentage of the Umbro money as part of the deal, but that arrangement has been questioned since the acrimonious split with Terry. Lincoln is pressing his claims and negotiations are ongoing. The dispute comes as Terry waits to hear the verdict of Fabio Capello, who is considering whether to retain him as England captain following disclosures about the centre-half's affair with Wayne Bridge's former girlfriend. The dispute is also an unwelcome complication for Umbro. Last night a spokeswoman for Umbro said: 'We do not comment on our players. Any dispute between a player and an agent is a matter for them.' The disagreement with Lincoln is one of the consequences of Terry's decision to change his team of advisers last August. In splitting with Lincoln, who also represents Wayne Bridge, Terry also lost the guidance of long-term personal solicitor Angus McBride, who also represents the England players' committee, and PR consultant Mark Bolland, a former personal secretary to the Prince of Wales. Terry has since placed his affairs in the hands of an Essex-based company, Elite Management, run by the Rushden and Diamonds chairman, Keith Cousins, and Paul Nicholls, a former team-mate from the Chelsea youth squad. In recent days PR adviser Phil Hall, a former News of the World editor, has begun working for Terry in an attempt to counter the tide of negative publicity, and the potential for further revelations from Vanessa Perroncel, who is represented by Max Clifford. Cousins, who has a background in film production, has strong ties to the Terry family having signed John's brother Paul, an experienced midfielder, to play for Rushden on a loan deal at the start of this season. Nicholls played with Terry in Chelsea's youth team and is a long-term friend. Cousins, who is variously described as a lawyer, executive producer and director in official company filings, has been a generous benefactor to Rushden, loaning the club more than £540,000 since he bought them from a supporters' trust in 2006. According to the club's most recent accounts, he has also committed to provide more funding if required and will not call in his loan, allowing the club to continue as a going concern despite total debts of £1.9 million. Until last year he was also director of a fashion company, Oldcastle Fashions, that went into liquidation with debts of almost £160,000. Cousins stepped down as a director almost two months before the company went bust. Nicholls made eight appearances for Rushden in the 2007-08 season before working with Cousins at Elite. While Terry must take responsibility for his own behaviour, questions have been asked about the advice he has been receiving. The affair with Perroncel is just the latest in a recent string of personal indiscretions by Terry that have attracted media attention. Terry is no stranger to unwelcome press coverage but it appears his associates have struggled to navigate the squalls created by his personal conduct. The decision to seek a 'super-injunction' preventing publication of allegations about his relationship with Perroncel looks particularly unfortunate. Media opposition to the use of super-injunctions is universal, and by seeking to close down the story Terry and his advisers simply alerted the rest of the print and broadcast media to its existence. The net effect was to amplify interest in the story, reaping a whirlwind of adverse publicity when Mr Justice Tugendhat revoked the injunction last Friday. The judge observed that the motivation in trying to prevent publication included the impact of adverse publicity on Terry's earning power. The judgment also revealed that two unnamed business associates of Terry approached Perroncel and asked her to sign documents preventing her discussing the affair. Sources close to Chelsea have rejected suggestions the club advised Terry to take legal action. Lincoln was Terry's long-term agent until disagreements ended their relationship in August. The catalyst for the split was Terry's negotiations with Manchester City, which Lincoln conducted on his behalf. Terry sealed an improved deal at Chelsea with the blessing of owner Roman Abramovich worth at least £150,000 a week. Terry is also understood to have been unhappy at the failure to secure him more sponsorship deals. It is striking given his profile how few endorsements Terry has, evidence perhaps that his previous off-field troubles may have been a factor. Umbro is his only personal sponsor and a deal with King of Shaves expired in 2008. Elite's attempts to fill the sponsorship gap began poorly when Terry was forced to disown an email, sent by Riviera Management, a company who had been engaged by Elite Management, circulated in the football industry touting his availability for commercial projects off the back of his anticipated leadership of England at the World Cup in South Africa. Neither Cousins nor Nicholls have commented since the recent controversy broke and neither they nor Lincoln returned calls yesterday. Tale of two England captains . . . David Beckham England caps: 115 (59 as captain)Estimated worth: £125mEstimated annual salary: £4.1mPersonal sponsors: Adidas (boots), Motorola (phone), Sharpie (pens), Cabao Sao Roque (holiday resort, Natal, Brazil), Emporio Armani (underwear). John Terry England caps: 58 (28 as captain)Estimated worth: £17mEstimated annual salary: £7.8mPersonal sponsors: Umbro (boots). Also appears in Samsung and Nationwide advertising as part of Chelsea and FA deals. Had a deal with King of Shaves that ended in 2008. Team Terry Then Aaron Lincoln, agentFormer Chelsea kit-man who represented Terry until August 2009, negotiating his disputed deal with Umbro. His company Icon Sports Management also represents Wayne Bridge. Angus McBride, lawyerPartner at London law firm Kingsley Napley, who acted as personal solicitor to Terry from 2003. Also acts as legal adviser to Wayne Bridge and the England players committee in commercial negotiations. Mark Bolland, PR adviserFormer private secretary to the Prince of Wales, who offered media advice. Now Keith Cousins, adviserRushden and Diamonds chairman, Cousins has a background in film production and now looks after Terry's affairs through Elite Management Ltd. Paul Nicholls, adviserFormer Chelsea youth team goalkeeper and friend of Terry. Played for Rushden and Diamonds and now works for Elite Management with Cousins. Phil Hall, PR adviserFormer editor of the News of the World, Hall has has been offering media advice to Terry since last week.
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