FA middle management invited the UEFA operational team involved in setting up the match to join their events staff at a lavish team bonding dinner for 40 in the private room at The Ivy, one of London's most famous and expensive restaurants.
The bill, including 15 per cent service, is understood to have been well over ?4,000 for a ?68-ahead three-course meal of fragrant chicken salad, beef Wellington and Bramley apple pie washed down with Morellino red and Muscadet white wines at around ?30 a bottle.
Showpiece final: Wembley will host the 2011 Champions League final
The cost of such a glitzy celebrity outing at a time when the supposedly cash-strapped FA have big financial issues is difficult to justify - especially as no senior UEFA delegates were entertained nor were any high-ranking FA officials present at the function on February 2.
It sends the wrong message when UEFA are charging a minimum of ?150 a seat plus ?26 administration charge for the Wembley game.
And as the purpose of the Ivy bash was to build relationships around the regular site visits by UEFA personnel, it would have been more appropriate and a lot less expensive to have had tea and sandwiches at Wembley.
The FA said The Ivy, situated in the heart of London's West End, was picked because it had a sufficiently large private room. A UEFA spokesman said: 'The arrangements were down to the FA, they organised the event.'
??More from Charles Sale...?Charles Sale: Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand among the stars caught up in a wealth of legal wrangling23/02/11?Charles Sale: Olympic pool has turned out 'ugly', slams departed Olympic chief22/02/11?Charles Sale: FA bigwig Taylor trashes FA Cup revamp plan21/02/11?Charles Sale: FA can't afford a Cup half empty18/02/11?Charles Sale: FIFA double dealer haunts England18/02/11?Charles Sale: Box seat at the Champions League final? That'll be ?4,00016/02/11?Charles Sale: Premier League and Football League squabble over youth plans15/02/11?CHARLES SALE: Football League games on Thursdays for TV15/02/11?VIEW FULL ARCHIVE? Manchester City coach Brian Kidd, has never earned huge money from his long career in football.
But Kidd's investment of ?500,000 stands out in the long list of four-year loans provided by stars from football and golf that have helped fund the building of the Aldgate East development in London.
So Kidd has reason to be particularly concerned about warnings from trustees that there may not be sufficient funds to repay the money with 10 per cent interest by the July maturity date.
Numerous sporting figures are at various stages of legal action over alleged conflict of interests in the wealth management advice given about Aldgate and other property investments.
Publishers Hodder & Stoughton will be especially keen for England's crocked rugby captain Lewis Moody to regain his place in an improving side who have done consistently well in his absence.
Flank forward Moody, who suffered another injury setback in training this week, has signed what is believed to be a six-figure advance for his official autobiography.
It is due in November, shortly after the World Cup, for which a late chapter in the book, likely to be titled Mad Dog, has been reserved.
Russian-owned currency traders FxPro, who are shirt sponsors for both Aston Villa and Fulham, had an option in the contracts to withdraw from either ?3.5million-a-year deal at the end of the season.
They have chosen to stay with Fulham but ditch the more glamorous Midlands club who haven't fulfilled the greater expectations on the pitch.
The Cyprus-based sponsors are said to have formed a closer relationship with Fulham's commercial team and it also helps having their name on top of a stand at Craven Cottage which lies under the Heathrow flight path.
MCC on target for 2012 MCC have been first out of the blocks in selling Olympic tickets to their members ahead of the LOCOG public sale that starts on March 15. Lord's have 40 premium seats costing ?65 or ?95 for each session of archery at cricket's HQ.
They might prove difficult to shift at that price, although the optimistic MCC have made provisions for a ballot if they are oversubscribed.
On target: Lord's have released tickets early for the 2012 Olympic archery
One of the more unlikely ambitions of London 2012 is putting their muscle behind the capital staging a fireworks display centred on the London Eye to herald the start of Olympic year.
They want it to be even bigger and better than the Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve extravaganza, which is rated the world's best.
?Explore more:People: Brian Kidd, Lewis Moody Places: London, United Kingdom, Cyprus
Source: Daily Mail
Source: Daily Mail