Continuing the obsession in yesterday's paper which played the That/Williams rapprochement as mainly being of interest due to the money, today Carl Stroud - Gordon's deputy - files this:
ROBBIE WILLIAMS is at the centre of a multi-million pound record label bidding war after he confirmed he is rejoining TAKE THAT.
The band will release an album together and are set to rake in £75million with a 54-date stadium tour next summer.
But Robbie's record-breaking contract with EMI - signed for a reported £80million in 2002 - is up in October.
Stroud then goes on to speculate about Sony and Universal waving round £100 million bids to secure Williams. Sorry, a "source" does:
An industry source said: "Signing Robbie Williams is the holy grail for labels at the moment.
"He's already struck the biggest record deal in history, so whatever he is offered will have to compare favourably to that.
"He could be the first British artist to ever land a £100million deal."
The only problem with this - no disrespect to the industry source - is that it totally ignores Williams' recent track record. When EMI signed him for £80million, it was at the top of the Robbie Williams market. Now, more than ever, he's a bit like a saucer - only really of value if you're getting the full set, and - frankly - he could be easily replaced by a coaster if he was required at all.
And that would be if the record labels had any money to bid with.
The only industry source who surely would go round telling the papers that Williams was worth a hundred million - a tenth of a billion, lest we forget - is someone trying to talk up Williams' price in the market.
Frankly, if Williams thought his future earnings were going to be that high, he'd be self-financing. Trying to squeeze cash out of a record label is a sign that he knows he's not really going to make very much in the long run.