The Insider denies all knowledge of the constant calls to Crystal Palace’s Bromley and does little to secure that Kevan interview

THB boss Frank Murphy would love to get his hands on Michael Schumacher. I'm talking metaphorically, of course. The specialist broker sorts out insurance for motorsport drivers, including personal accident cover. THB has clients throughout the industry, right up to some of the most illustrious names in F1. However, one customer not on their books is Schuey. The grand doyen of F1 is coming out of retirement this year to have another bite at the cherry. Despite being 41 years old and having a dodgy neck, I'm hearing there's still a deal to be done. After all, everyone loves a winner.

You’ve reached the voicemail of …

I feel very sorry for all those poor old Crystal Palace fans. The phones haven’t stopped ringing at the house of Barry Bromley, the secretary of the National Association of Credit Hire Operators, or NACHO as it’s called. Barry also happens to be the vice-president of Crystal Palace FC. Being the man in the know, fans from far and wide have been contacting him to find out what’s going on. Apparently, his phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the shock announcement. It transpires that Palace has been walking a financial tightrope for some time. The once great club faces a ten-point deduction and a player sell-off, so I expect Barry will be fielding a few more calls in the future.

Allianz waits for pie to cool

It’s been all quiet on the RBS Insurance front for a while but stomachs are beginning to rumble for a slice of the pie. It looks like Allianz, that old German giant, is preparing to pull up a chair at the table. Allianz finance boss Paul Achleitner, with a lustful glint in his eye, said this week on acquisitions: “Patience will win. There are going to be many opportunities.” Well chaps, you heard it here first.

Seen but never heard

Is the independent chairman of the General Terms of Agreement (GTA), Tim Kevan, an apparition? He has refused public interviews since being catapulted into the job in November. Yet he’s got his own website, blogs for the Times, has written a highly acclaimed legal comedy novel and a fair few leading authority books on credit hire. Anybody would think he’d be a natural to speak up for the GTA, which let’s face it, desperately needs some image bolstering following AXA’s pull-out and the continuing fights between insurers and credit hire operators. Instead, the GTA members seem to have landed themselves a ghost writer.

Friends be united?

So Tim Rolfe has packed his bags and said goodbye to his pals at Primary. Tim had not spent long in the hot seat of the newly created UK General Insurance Group, but is moving on to pastures new. Once the dust has settled, expect Tim to return to a senior management role at a large UK insurer. Word on the street is that his good pal and Fortis UK managing director Mark Cliff has already earmarked Tim as his next big signing. That could be one hell of a free transfer.

Lost that loving feeling

Is Bluefin boss Stuart Reid also looking for a new home? It’s no secret that old romantic Philippe Maso has fallen out of love with the insurer-owned distribution model – he publicly hinted at the possibility of a sale last year, much to the disgruntlement of all those at Bluefin. But the rumour kind of went away after a few potential buyers made themselves known. So what now for Reid? A few months on and with a few of his old mates now shedding the shackles from covenants and corporate life, could it be time for him to move on and start all over again afresh? Or perhaps he'll pull a surprise one, and head up a buy-back of Bluefin? Just a thought. IT