Inside Lines: Cassani picks a Power player for key bid role

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London Olympic bid leader Barbara Cassani obviously believes in power, with a capital P. Tomorrow she will announce the most senior appointment yet to her team. He is William J Power, who becomes the 2012 bid's chief operating officer, and effectively her No 3. Power, 55, comes from a strong commercial background with pharmaceutical giants Procter and Gamble, with whom he has worked for 32 years in London and overseas as finance director and global business services officer. His role will be that of the nuts and bolts man, bringing all components of the bid together and liaising with the government and other agencies. Although he has no recognised sporting background he is said to be "passionate" about it as a keen follower of football, cricket and squash, and has two daughters who are competitive swimmers. He seems to meet all the criteria of the £125,000-a-year post, save one. Cassani wanted "someone who has been part of a successful summer Olympic bid team". But these are somewhat thin on the ground if you are a Brit, which Power is. He joins marketing director David Magliano, recruited from Cassani's former airline stamping ground at Go. She plans more board appointments next week, though she still has to hire a chief executive. Simon Clegg is rumoured to be wanted on a two-year secondment from the British Olympic Association, where he performs a similar role. But like another who would fit the bill, the Australian Craig McLatchey, who helped mastermind the Sydney Games and is now with the IOC, he is not among the 500 applicants, who include at least two well-known senior British sports administrators. But the bid remains desperately short of a vital sports political figure. So what news of Sebastian Coe? Cassani says: "I am hoping Seb will be working with us in a capacity we are able to announce soon."

Saints alive, don't call me Greavsie

I have lost count of the number of times I have passed through airport security or supermarket checkouts to be hailed: "Hello Greavsie, how's the Saint these days?" Readers may notice a close resemblance between the mugshot at the top of this column and that of Jimmy Greaves but it is not just because of this pictorial affinity that I recommend his updated autobiography as one of the best of the current plethora of books by or about his contemporaries. John Charles, Gordon Banks, Nobby Stiles, George Cohen Tom Finney - all have burst into print of late, some more worthily than others. Nostalgia sells, they say, and Greavsie (Time-Warner, £18.99) is engagingly both candid and poignant, a reminder of the talent we are missing not only on the field but on the box. His ITV partnership with Ian St John may have gone out of fashion but the frequency with which I have had to produce my passport to prove I'm not J G is testimony to the fact that it has not been forgotten.

Caborn gives them a run for their money

It is always gratifying when a worthy campaign bears fruit, so there's a chuffed feeling all round, not least from this column which made a humble contribution, over sport's victory in finally getting parity with charity in rate relief for amateur clubs. Moreover, it was an example of how sport can cross the great political divide, with the sports minister, Richard Caborn, and his shadow Lord Moynihan joining forces with the Lib Dem Lord Phillips and the CCPR to force the Treasury into a U-turn. As Caborn says: "It is further indication that Whitehall is beginning to see sport as something to invest him. Now sport has to respond by modernising." Sport is warming to a minister who puts his feet where his mouth is. He competes in the Great North Run a few days short of his 60th birthday.

Such is the gloom and doom pervading our sport at the prospect of the Athens Olympics you might think the Aegean Sea was the Cassandra Crossing for British competitors. After the golden daze of Sydney, does a Greek tragedy loom?

Fear not. There now seems a decent chance that at least one of those Sydney triumphs could be repeated. Hard on the heels of the now retired Steff Cook, who won the modern pentathlon gold, comes her erstwhile team-mate Georgina Harland, crowned European champion with a scintillating performance in the Czech Republic last week. It was the first major title for the 25-year-old Team Bath athlete and follows Kate Allenby's bronze medal in the recent world championships. Overall the British team took third place in the European championships and seem on course for a podium position in Athens next year, where one suspects most of the medals will come from the supporting cast rather than the falling stars of track and field.

Like Steff Cook, Audley Harrison was a last-day British winner in Sydney. Three years on, she works as an NHS hospital doctor while he is about to engage in his 12th pro fight, having "defected" to the US.

On Tuesday, in Miami, Harrison meets Quinn Navarro, who sounds more like a Hollywood bit-parter. However, he is unbeaten in five bouts since losing to British champion Danny Williams two years ago and Harrison claims it is a step-up in class. The BBC seem less than convinced, and have allotted him his latest-ever slot, at a quarter past midnight the following day. Real fight fans will be more interested in Saturday's Las Vegas return between Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya, a potential classic.

Exit Lines

It's tough getting up to speed with all this sporting stuff. London Olympics bid leader Barbara Cassani admits to one or two gaffes... All the rudiments for success in life are to be found ironing trousers. Chris Eubank finds domestic contentment... That bastard done me on the line. Dwain Chambers feels run-down after Paris... He used to think he could speak the lingo when we went abroad just by adding an "o" at the end of a sentence. Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper on his travels with Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen.