Golden handshake: Briton eyes pounds 1m prize... Golden boot: Striker is paid pounds 900,000 to go

Click to follow
The Independent Online
TIM HENMAN'S handshake was almost as warm as his bank manager's smile yesterday despite losing to Greg Rusedski in the pounds 2.2m ATP Championship in Hanover.

Britain's No 2, Rusedski won 6-2, 6-4 but Henman, the No 1, had already qualified for the semi-finals and a guaranteed minimum payday of pounds 200,000 taking his earnings for the year to more than pounds 1million. If he wins the semi-final, Henman will collect another pounds 200,000 with a cool pounds 500,000 on top if he goes on to take the first prize.

Yesterday's match had been billed as the unofficial British championship but Henman seemed to have his mind on his next contest. Rusedski, meanwhile, still had the incentive of qualifying for the other semi-final of the competition. As it turned out, a later result robbed him of that place.

Henman's latest windfallcame as it was revealed that Everton footballer Duncan Ferguson will receive a pounds 900,000 "bonus" just for agreeing to be transferred to Newcastle United.

The Scottish striker, who was sold for pounds 8million, receives the golden farewell because he did not ask Everton for a transfer. Ferguson has scored only four goals this season, but his pay will rise from pounds 1m at Everton to nearly pounds 1.7m a year at Newcastle, climbing over the seasons until it runs out in 2003. With the Everton settlement, he will pocket almost pounds 9m in total from the transfer.

Reports, page 32