However, HN Sports chief Hayden Evans says James, who has been with the company for nine years, plays no part in transfer negotiations but recruits young players and does admin work.

Evans said: ‘Agents will point the finger, but we are very transparent in what we do and James, who is an invaluable member of the team, keeps well away from any dealings involving Neil’s clubs.’

Everton boss David Moyes’s student son David has done an internship at the Wasserman Media Group football agency. But WMG say Moyes Jnr worked entirely on the US side of the business.

What’s in a name?

Well-known agent Barry Silkman is a co-owner of Not Til Monday, a horse that runs in the last race at Royal Ascot today. Silkman’s ownership syndicate The Three Honest Men go by the most unlikely name, considering his notorious profession.

See Moore of Ryan

Ascot have tried to engage the Royal meeting crowd over the last three years by introducing the main jockeys riding that day in the parade ring before racing.

However, the famously uncommunicative Ryan Moore has yet to put in an appearance – although he was lined up seemingly ready to come out of the weighing room on Tuesday but was never called.

Catching a bad brake

John Parrott, snooker world champion turned BBC racing’s betting expert, was fortunate to be on duty at Royal Ascot after the brakes failed on his E-class Mercedes.

Parrott was on his way to Windsor races on Monday when his £50,000 car suffered a brake pump blow-out that led him screeching to an emergency halt on the kerb.

Parrott said: ‘Luckily I was only going 30mph. If I was on a motorway, I would have been a goner.’

Too rich for Ridsdale

Royal Ascot plucked their financial director Alan Flitcroft, who arrived at the racecourse at the start of the year, from Cardiff City of all places – where the accountant worked as chief operating officer alongside Peter Ridsdale during his money-troubled regime.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Ridsdale, who became acting chairman of another financially stricken outfit, Plymouth, after leaving Cardiff, was due to represent the Devon club at the Football League junket summer meeting in Cyprus.

But Plymouth administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who would have found plenty of potential clients at the 72-club summit, pulled rank at the last moment and went himself.

No bed of Roses

Giles Clarke, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman who has ducked out of going to the Rose Bowl, home of his foe Rod Bransgrove, until the fourth day of the ground’s inaugural Test, will find another of his big rivals ensconced at the Hampshire venue.

Mike Soper, the former Surrey chairman who was narrowly defeated by Clarke in the ECB chairmanship election in 2007, is a Hampshire vice-president. Clarke is unlikely to turn up tomorrow armed with a bottle from his vast wine cellar, said to be worth £5million.

Still in the race

The high-powered consortium that included former Ladbrokes chief Chris Bell and former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton, who missed out on buying the Tote, have not given up on racing acquisitions.

They are looking at other possibilities, including Coral bookmakers, whose venture capitalist owners would sell at the right price.

The Bell-Broughton group remain perplexed over why the Government preferred Betfred’s one-year guarantee of £9m funding to racing, when they had promised £11.7m annually for seven years. The Government lobbying done by former Betfair director Mark Davies for Betfred is seen as having been a pivotal factor.

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