When is a conflict not a conflict?

When it involves football clubs.

Brabners, home to esteemed senior partner and Manchester United FC non-executive director Maurice Watkins, advised Liverpool FC on the transfer of Argentinian star Javier Mascherano from West Ham to Man Utd’s bitter rival Liverpool. See story

Slaughter and May sports (and corporate) guru Nigel Boardman advises Arsenal FC and North London foe Tottenham Hotspur FC, yet he wouldn’t be allowed to advise Pepsi and Coke. Let alone Nike and Adidas.

But football’s a funny old game, where the normal rules of engagement don’t apply. Just don’t tell Man Utd’s rabidly anti-Scouse right back Gary Neville. He’ll be storming Watkins’ office in a thrice.