The Last Word: Want to buy part of a sports star? Well here’s your chance

Fans could soon trade shares in the earning potential of their heroes. So who to sell or buy?

Brand Beckham has finally missed a trick. Buying a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami, and staging electronic signing sessions in Hyderabad, New York and Sao Paulo for 30 million Facebook followers, is positively passé.

The future has arrived in the form of Arian Foster, the Houston Texans running back. In the ultimate synthesis of sport and business, grace and greed, he is selling shares in his earning potential. You, too, could own the virtual toenail of an authentic superstar.

Foster has sold 20 per cent of his future income to Fantex Holdings, a San Francisco investment company headed by legendary quarterback John Elway, for $10million (£6.3m). The deal will be financed by the sale of 1,055,000 $10 shares in “Arian Foster Convertible Tracking Stock”.

The initiative, due to be launched later this month after ratification by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will be broadened to include other marquee athletes if it is successful.

So who are the human alternatives to speculating on the price of pork bellies or the value of derivatives? Here are 10 sporting figures, of contrasting experience, character and quality to consider.

Remember, the value of investments can go up or down.

 

Joe Root... Buy

Already a hit in Walkabout bars and God’s Own County, the cherubic Yorkshire batsman is ready to reclaim Australia for the Mother Country. The Ashes will establish him as the Housewife’s Favourite.

Stuart Broad... Sell

Every closet comedian, fuelled by fizzy beer and the conviction they are the reincarnation of Crocodile Dundee, will be on his case this winter. He could just crumble.

Christian Wade... Buy

Yesterday’s omission by England ensures stock can be picked up cheaply. Watch it soar as the Wasps winger answers reservations that he is too small for international Rugby Union. Anyone with his youth, speed, athleticism and agility is a shoo-in for 2015.

Chris Ashton... Sell

The Saracens winger has had the benefit of tough love from England coach Stuart Lancaster, who gave him the summer off to meditate on the lessons of adversity. Though psychologically stronger, someone so prone to self-absorption is always a risk.

Adam Lallana... Buy

Loyalty rarely meets precocity, but Lallana, symbol of Southampton’s breakthrough season, is a singular success. He stayed by the club in League One. His maturation into a goalscoring midfielder will propel him into England’s World Cup squad.

Frank Lampard...Sell

A tough call, but there’s no compassion in business. Lampard is an admirable professional and the epitome of reliability, but he might just reach his sell-by date before next summer’s finals in Brazil.

Joe Kinnear... Buy

At face value, this is the sort of advice guaranteed to sully the reputation of any stockbroker. JFK is universally derided, yet there is a depressing inevitability about his ultimate accession to the manager’s job at Newcastle United.

Sir Alex Ferguson... Sell

Cash in at the top of the market, while he is being treated as a cross between Bill Gates, William Shakespeare and Sir Matt Busby. His eminence is unchallenged, but he remains unsuited to retirement.

Murray Walker... Buy

He’s 90, needs crutches and is beating cancer. He embodies what Formula One has lost: wit, adventure, perspective and, above all, humanity.

Lewis Hamilton... Sell

Spot the difference. Self-serving and superficial, his blithe abandonment of the Mercedes team principal  Ross Brawn, a man he hailed as a mentor only last month, is an unintentionally revealing character reference.

 

Taking poetry out of football

The ghost of Sir Bobby Robson has been enlisted in the fight against Mike Ashley’s dysfunctional regime at Newcastle United.

His immortal observation on what constitutes a football club has been recycled in an attempt to shame playground bullies who ban supporters’ groups and sportswriters for sharing home truths.

It won’t of course, but it is worth repeating, not least for its final paragraph.

This describes “a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”

We all remember our first time. Mine involved sneaking through an allotment before vaulting a flimsy fence on to a shale terrace, where I watched Watford in the old Third Division. Awe obliterated guilt.

It’s strange to speak of innocence given the duplicity involved in my introduction, but this was the place where bedroom posters came to life. Senses were heightened, and the world expanded.

The possibilities seemed endless, and the pain was strangely soothing. Ashley (below) sees a balance sheet where the rest of us read poetry. What a sad, unfulfilling existence.

Wrong target

The animal-cruelty lobby, usually so strategic and effective in horse racing, have misjudged the public mood. In denigrating Tony McCoy by associating him with the deaths of 25 horses as he approaches his 4,000th winner, they have selected the wrong target, at the wrong time.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
Jonatahn Sexton scores a penalty
rugby
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?