FA shake-up splits marketing and comms

The Football Association is to overhaul its PR operation following the appointment of sports journalist Colin Gibson as communications director.

Gibson will join next month from the sports desk of the Daily Mail, in a shake-up that will see the marcoms team split into separate comms, marketing and events divisions.

The restructure, which has been overseen by CEO Mark Palios, will see Gibson lead the comms team, while Wembley National Stadium (WNSL) marketing and comms director Jonathan Hill has been drafted in to lead a marketing team that will be renamed as ‘commercial’.

Hill, who took on the role at WNSL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the FA, almost a year ago (PRWeek, 24 January), was FA commercial director during the Euro 96 tournament and will handle his WNSL and FA duties simultaneously.

Palios has had a difficult first four months as CEO, with critics saying he appeared poorly briefed when answering questions on last-minute changes made to the England squad for last month’s friendly against Denmark.

In a survey of 1,455 people on the public’s perceptions of the FA, compiled exclusively for PRWeek by Tickbox.net, 49 per cent said they ‘no longer trusted the FA to run the national sport’.

Barber, the FA’s director of marcoms, leaves the FA after three-and-a-half years. His exit comes just seven months after previous comms director Paul Newman was made redundant (PRWeek, 18 April).

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