Money madness

Things I learned this week:

At $51m the Sochi Olympics is the most expensive ever.

Apple’s revenue for the last quarter exceeded Luxembourg’s annual GDP. Annual!

This is bonkers. What the hell is Apple going to do with all that sloshing dosh? Just sitting there making minor, underwhelming improvements to iPhones and iPads?

Notes from the pavilion for November 2nd

Links of note from the past 24 hours:

  • Loadsa money – Here’s a fun fact: On arrival at Derbyshire, Wavell Hinds will make more money than highest paid West Indies cricketer

Travelling in style with the ICC

What does the hard-working ICC official travel in from game to game? A brand spanking new BMW of course. Here’s one of nineteen, imported specially for the World Cup (spotted on Flickr).

I suppose they’ve struck a sponsorship deal with them or something. Not a bad way to travel around the islands if you’re into luxurious German vehicles, dripping with leder. Incidentally the photographer has a few other photos worth looking at. It’s always much more interesting seeing photos from the fans themselves, inside the grounds. It gives a more human perspective to what’s actually going on, and they’re not bound by the laws of commercial interest, worrying what their photo editors will want etc.

Beckham and his billions

I have nothing much to say about the news that David Beckham, the celebrity’s celebrity, is to earn £500,000 per week in his move from Real Madrid to the American league side, Los Angeles Galaxy. By my reckoning, going on us average UK mugs who work a minimum of 78 hours/week, that amounts to £6410. Per hour. (£1.78 per second) It’s football; he’s Beckham; it happens. More interestingly is wondering what he might spend his millions on. He could buy four of these Aston Martin DB9s (Volante, naturally) each week and still have enough spare to buy a terrace (or probably two) in Bradford.

Beckham in Bradford…the mind boggles. What do you actually do with all that money? I can’t imagine him turning to Posh and asking “So. Fancy a DVD and some telly tonight?”. Instead of paying your bill at a restaurant, you’d pay everybody’s. Or buy the restaurant outright.

Can we expect Beckham Airlines in the future? Posh and Becks Train Travel: guaranteeing you a vacuous journey to faux-stardom.

£15m richer

I forgot to mention yesterday that the ECB will next week sign a new deal with nPower, the electricity company, worth £15m. Their current deal is £7m which means a 40% increase. That’s quite staggering. Full article at Cricinfo.

It was very long ago that an England cricketer (never mind a county professional) earned very little. Yet the increase in popularity of the sport, so it is thought, is reaping rewards for all involved in the game…well, nearly everyone :) It’s an encouraging sign, so long as the money is managed properly and used for all the right reasons.

Hair: ‘I’ll retire…but only for $500,000′

As if the whole situation could not worsen, or become even more extraordinary, Darrell Hair offered to stand down or resign…but only with a bounty of $500,000. What the hell’s going on? Only just got back, and no time to make sense of it – it’s Friday, and I’m pickling the liver shortly – but leave your thoughts below.

Incidentally the blog might be a bit dry the next few days. Hopefully Scott will feed and water it (and therefore you ‘orrible lot) but ’tis a busy time.

Darrell Hair offered to resign as a member of the ICC’s Elite Umpires Panel in return for a payment of $500,000, Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, told a press conference near Lord’s.

Speed said Hair’s resignation letter was forwarded to Doug Cowie, the ICC’s umpire manager. A copy of that letter was also made available to the Pakistan Cricket Board.

In the letter, Hair asked for “a one-off payment to compensate for the loss of future earnings and retainer payments over the next four years, which I believe would have been the best years I have to offer ICC and world umpiring.”

Read the full story at Cricinfo.

And here’s the full email transcript which is circling its way around, well, just about every site you can think of:

From: Darrell Hair
Sent: Tuesday 22nd August 2006
To: Doug Cowie
Subject: The way forward

Doug, just to firm up what we discussed earlier this evening. I appreciate the ICC may be put in a untenable position with regards to future appointments and having taken considerable time and advice, I make this one-off, non-negotiable offer.

I am prepared to retire/stand down/relinquish my position on the elite panel to take effect from 31st August 2006 on the following terms:

1 A one-off payment to compensate the loss of future earnings and retain a payment over the next four years which I believe would have been the best years I have to offer ICC and world umpiring. This payment is be the sum of [US dollars] 500,000 (£264,000) – details of which must be kept confidential by both parties. This sum to be paid directly into my account by 31st August 2006.

2 ICC may announce the retirement in any way they wish, but I would prefer a simple ‘lifestyle choice’ as this was the very reason I moved from Australia to settle in the UK three years ago.

3 No public comment to be made by me as to possible reasons for the decision.

4 This offer in no way precludes me taking legal action and/or instigating libel suits against various sections of the electronic and print media for comments made either previously or in the future.

5 This in no way precludes me taking civil action (and exercising my rights as a resident of the UK in any court of law and by any other avenue open to me) against any organisation or persons currently part of ICC and in particular, members of the Pakistan cricket team and the Pakistan Cricket Board.

I reiterate this is a once only offer and if I fail to obtain your agreement I shall continue to be available under the terms of my current contract till March 31 2008 to fulfil umpiring appointments as and when ICC sees fit in any country at any time in any series or matches involving any affiliated teams.

I would also insist that my ongoing contracted employment continue in its current form until such time as an ICC performance assessment deems me to be no longer able to perform the duties to the high class expected of an international umpire.

Would you please let me know at your earliest convenience of your acceptance or otherwise of this offer.

Sincerely, Darrell Hair.

What a hairy mess this is.

Lord’s Taverners net some dosh

This must have passed me by.

I am very pleased that the National Sports Foundation has made its first award. This was to the Lords Taverners for £177,500, to support their excellent work to promote the growth of grass roots cricket through the provision of cricket equipment bags to junior cricketers. This funding, which will help ensure that we capitalise on the explosion of interest in cricket among our young people following last summer’s Ashes series, was matched by a donation from the England and Wales Cricket Trust.

I understand that the Foundation is in continuing discussions with potential sponsors as well as sporting organisations and they are hopeful that further awards will be announced shortly.

So said Richard Caborn in the commons.

I’m not yet rich

Sunday Times Rich List

I’m a glutton for punishment. Every year, without fail, I buy the Sunday Times Rich List. I know I’m not in there – don’t worry, I’m not completely insane – but I’m fascinated and depressed, in nearly equal measure, by just how much some people have hidden under their beds. Thousands of millions, in some cases. Picture a thousand anything – marbles, plates, people, breasts socks – and it’s a lot. But a thousand million? That’s an awful lot, and damn them for not sharing it. One Thousand Million Pounds. A thousand million. I only want one million; they’d have 999 million left (I think).

Annoyingly while the List contains a seperate entry for Footballers, there isn’t one for sport. On this basis, if you don’t play football you’re relatively skint (which we knew anyway). Wayne Rooney is one of the richest young people, as is the runt who plays Harry Potter in the, er, Harry Potter films. Bastards.

Amusingly, I fumbled in my pocket for some coppers to buy the paper after leaving work, but was 12p short! I found it hilarious (“Ah! The irony of it all! Me, buying the rich list, and I’m 12p short!”). The cashier was totally disinterested. I doubt he even knew what it was I was buying.

As Del Boy’d say, “This time next year…”

I’m not a betting man….

…but WOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! All three of my nags came in the top 4!


Howard feeds his addiction

Ah, John Howard. Rarely does a week go by, seemingly, in which “cricket” isn’t uttered by the self-confessed addict. And yesterday it was revealed he spent AUD$90,000 during his time in London last year to go to the cricket. Now, Australian readers will grab the Corridor shaped voodoo doll when I say this, but sod it: it must be brilliant to have a PM that loves cricket.

John Howard and Steve Waugh

Ours – for all his good points – doesn’t like the game. Ha! Actually, he does like it, but the New Labour dictatorship, brewed in 1997 and currently resting in a Tuppawear container in Gordon Brown’s apartment above Number 10, decided football was far too cool to ignore. And so it was that our Tony chose the “beautiful” game over the five-day drinkathon, otherwise known as cricket.

I thought I’d mentioned this before, that Tony was a closet-cricket fan, but alas couldn’t find it.

Anyway, have a look at Johnnie Howard’s expenses:

JOHN Howard and his entourage spent more than $90,000 on accommodation and meals in a four-night stay at one of London’s most exclusive hotels.

The visit last July, which included two visits to Lord’s for the Ashes Test cricket series, was part of a 10-day trip in which the Prime Minister visited his fellow Iraq war leaders, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the US President, George W.Bush.Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show the trip cost taxpayers $613,947.57, or $61,314 a day.