Charles Sale: Glove company feel Umbro's iron fist
Football brand giants Umbro, who are planning a grand unveiling oftheir new £50 England shirt at Wembley on Saturday, have been accusedof bullying a start-up company out of business. Umbro have taken heavy-handed legal action against Onesport, a small Cornish enterprise selling goalkeeping gloves online, because, it is claimed, their logo of an S inside an O is too similar to Umbro's distinctive double diamond branding. Lawyers acting for Umbro have written to Paul Hider, founder ofOnesport, demanding that he stops using the logo, ceases trading,throws away all his branded stock and pays them £1,000 in legal fees. Hider said: 'I've put a lot of time and effort into this project andnow I'm being harassed and bullied into losing everything. I haven'tbeen able to sleep since I received the lawyer's letters. 'They have this ridiculously priced kit launch at the weekend and atthe same time they're trying to put a tiny company out of business. Andin any case, the two logos are completely different. I'm told bytrademark specialists they haven't got a leg to stand on.' Umbro were unavailable for comment. The FA's obsession with appointments from the political world as in the 2018 World Cup board overload and new FA chief executive Ian Watmore from the Civil Service has spread to the Football League. New director of external affairs, Gavin Megaw, 32, became a Tory party member at 19 and was national chairman of Conservative Future, the party's youth arm, when they rebranded as cfuk, to the anger of clothing brand French Connection who had their fcuk advertising campaign. While the League, chaired by Tory grandee Lord Mawhinney, are now a Conservative stronghold, the Premier League's director of public policy is Bill Bush, a Labour Party member since he was 16 and former adviser to Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone and Tessa Jowell. The new sports and media consultancy being launched next month by the formidable sports business quartet of Brian Barwick (pictured), Peter Gandolfi, Julian Jacobi and John Webber are certainly putting some pressure on themselves to deliver, with the preferred name for their new business being Powerhouse. Any Government financial support for the England 2018 World Cup bid and the £5million requested is far from being allocated will come with one string attached, the need for a lot more transparency, including details of the salaried payments to 2018 chairman Lord Triesman and his bid directors. Tory shadow sports minister Hugh Robertson will put down a parliamentary question on this subject when Government money is forthcoming. Robertson also wants 2018 officials to register all entertainment and hospitality expenditure. Meanwhile, Manchester United chief executive David Gill, eligible for a raft of new expenses and attendance allowances from his roles on the FA and 2018 boards, only ever claims his rail fares. Harry off Fabio's caseEngland coach Fabio Capello, whose relationship with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is in meltdown following Ledley King's call-up, will be relieved outspoken Redknapp has turned down an offer to be a Setanta pundit for their live coverage of England's friendly against Slovakia on Saturday. It was Harry's opinions while working for Setanta for England's first friendly of the season against the Czech Republic including 'we keep changing managers but the performances don't improve' that led to his fall-out with Capello. Setanta had wanted to use Harry on a regular basis for England games, but he's said 'no' since last August. The Belgium and Dutch 2018 World Cup bid have started handing out sweeteners. They left a small branded box of chocolates at lunch tables set for UEFA Congress delegates in Copenhagen. Unimpressed with the blatant marketing was former FA chairman Geoff Thompson, re-elected to the UEFA executive committee yesterday especially as Europe have four bids competing to host the World Cup.
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