BBC man picked to head comms team at the FA

The Football Association launched a fresh bid to combat negative press coverage this week with the announcement that Paul Newman is to join as head of communications.

The Football Association launched a fresh bid to combat negative press coverage this week with the announcement that Paul Newman is to join as head of communications.

The announcement was made as sports pages continued to focus on allegations of divisive high-stake card schools enjoyed by some England players and the selection of a foreigner, Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson, to manage the side following Kevin Keegan's resignation last month .

A BBC sports correspondent, Newman takes over the role next month. It is a newly-created post formed out of a review of the FA's internal and external affairs department by executive director David Davies and chief executive Adam Crozier.

Newman has spent 23 years in journalism. He has worked on tournaments such as Euro 2000 and the 1998 World Cup.

He will report to Davies, who himself joined the FA as director of public affairs from the BBC's sports department in 1994, before taking the executive directorship in May 1999.

The FA press office now has six PR staff. This figure includes one media relations officer with responsibility for women's football and another for 'the national (meaning amateur) game.'

'We feel we can improve the way our message can be put across. There is an unquenchable thirst for news from the FA. We have to provide rapid response in a well-managed and coherent way,' said Adrian Bevington, the FA senior media relations officer.

Newman's role includes PR for the England teams and the FA Cup. He will also oversee internal communications and assist with internet strategy.



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