Andy Murray seeks to earn it like Beckham with Simon Fuller deal


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The Independent Online

Andy Murray has taken another leaf out of David Beckham's book by forming his own management company in partnership with Simon Fuller. The new company, which is called "77" in recognition of Murray's achievement in ending Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon on 7 July this year, will manage the affairs of both the world No 3 and his brother, Jamie.

Fuller, who originally found fame managing the Spice Girls, recruited Murray to his XIX Entertainment stable five years ago alongside Beckham and the Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton. The move towards setting up the new company is similar to the way in which Fuller's partnership with Beckham has moved from a management set-up into a business relationship.

Murray's new company will be a long-term vehicle for many of the Scot's business interests. It will look into ventures involving events in tennis and other sports, including tennis academies. The company will also seek to manage other individuals.

The business team around Murray – who has become the third player, after Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena – will remain largely unchanged. Matt Gentry, who will continue to handle the Scot's media affairs, will become managing director, while Fuller will be the chairman.

Mahesh Bhupathi, the Indian doubles player who is retiring at the end of this season, and Ugo Colombini, a long-term associate of Juan Martin del Potro, will continue in the roles they took up earlier this year. Bhupathi, whose remit will include new business, is looking to exploit the Scot's potential in the Far East, while Colombini is in charge of his tournament schedule. Neil Grainger and Grenville Evans, who have advised on Murray's financial and business affairs respectively, will remain in place.

Murray said in a statement: "The new company will allow me more freedom and the chance to become more involved in my business affairs."