Platt chews over a conflict of burgers

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The Independent Online
England yesterday announced a sponsorship deal which could leave their captain choking over his supper, writes Glenn Moore.

Just weeks after McDonald's launched a new advertising campaign centred on David Platt, their biggest rivals, Burger King, has linked up with the national team.

The fast-food chain has served up pounds 1m for the right to be associated with the national team. Yet, not only is the captain working for McDonald's, the coach, Terry Venables, and star player, Paul Gascoigne, have just shed five stones between them in crash diets. They were preceded by John Barnes, who attributed his slim-line look last season to cutting out burgers.

The McDonald's deal, which is worth pounds 3.5m over two years, is with the Premier League, which was not prepared to comment on the FA's latest sponsor last night.

Platt's commitments to McDonald's have been taken into account in the Burger King deal. He is unlikely to have to do individual promotions but there will be times when he has to pose with the team. The conflict of interests underlines football's new attractiveness to advertisers - but such clashes are not entirely new.

In the past, boot deals have been the problem. The most notable concerned Stan Bowles when he made his debut for England in 1976.

Bowles agreed a deal with an agent to wear Puma boots, only to be told he could have got more from Adidas. The mercurial Bowles quickly found an Adidas agent, did another deal with them, and wore a different boot on each foot.

So, come the Burger King photocall, look carefully to see if Platt is munching a Whopper, a Big Mac - or having a bite of each...