Diego Maradona’s former representative is hoping to open an agency in which supporters hold a stake
The location Jon Smith suggests for this interview is a hotel a mile or so north of Cockfosters. On emerging from the very end of the Piccadilly tube line, there are hedgerows and massive houses one after another, the homes of Premier League footballers among others. After a while, the pavement comes to an end but the hotel is still not in sight. Then, from behind a row of trees, a helicopter takes to the air. Oh, it must be in there then.
Smith, using air commas, which he acknowledges using as he does so (“Who does that?”), calls himself football’s “original super-agent”. At different times the representative of Diego Maradona, the entire England football team and James Beattie, Smith – 65 going on 45 – has witnessed the Premier League explosion from the inside. In recent years he has stepped back from the frontline, to act more as an adviser to people keen to invest in the game. These people invariably have a tonne of money. That might be why the hotel Smith calls his local has a helipad outside.