O'Driscoll on the money as new agency signs Leinster superstars
Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll has begun making plans for life beyond his playing career by landing a multi-million euro collection of playing talent to backbone a new sports agency.
Fintan Drury's Platinum One is the big loser as the Irish Independent has learned that O'Driscoll has recruited at least five Irish players from a roster that includes money-spinners Jamie Heaslip, Jonny Sexton, Cian Healy, Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O'Brien.
The accumulated annual earnings of all five players soars beyond the seven-figure mark and the new agency, which is being set up by one of O'Driscoll's closest friends, Damien O'Donohoe, will seek to maximise their revenues from a dwindling market in the coming years.
O'Donohoe is a brother of former Leinster scrum-half Paul and an employee at Denis Desmond's MCD, although it is not known to what extent, if any, Desmond's involvement will be with the new company.
Platinum One did not respond to the Irish Independent yesterday.
Irish rugby has suffered a decline in financial fortunes since the global recession, with player salaries being slashed by up to 50pc, while sponsorship revenue has also dwindled in recent times.
O'Driscoll is already the owner of a promotions company called ODM & Promotions Ltd.
New accounts show the rugby legend's management company is now sitting on a €1.46m cash mountain, after showing accumulated profits which increased by €291,409 to €2.9m in the 12 months to the end of August 2011.
O'Driscoll established the firm back in 2001 at the age of 22, as part of his bid to capitalise on being the most marketable Irish player of the modern rugby era. The Leinster player's father, Frank, is also a director.
Last year, O'Driscoll signed an extension to his IRFU contract -- believed to be worth around €400,000 a year -- until June 2013. He is also able to top up his earnings with various sponsorship deals and endorsements, including a lucrative deal with Gillette.