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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee