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People and Business: The spirit of the beautiful game

I WAS delighted to see Lord Douro posing for photographers by the statue of the Duke of Wellington in front of the Royal Exchange, to mark GRE's sale to AXA.

Lord Douro, chairman of AXA's UK arm, Sun Life & Provincial, is the great- great-great grandson of the original victor of Waterloo, and heir to the title. The French obviously don't have any problem with this.

Just to show what a bunch of Anglophiles they are, AXA/Sun Life sponsor the FA Cup. Normally the companies that sponsor sports events do so because their chief executives are mad about the sport concerned.

Not in this case. I am reliably assured that Mark Wood, chief executive of Sun Life, knows nothing about footy and cares even less.

It was purely a commercial decision, to raise the company's profile, according to a source close to the Duke's statue.