The FA has reorganised its communications team as it launches a
fresh offensive against hooliganism.
The revamped team will promote the relaunch of the disbanded England
Members Club for fans of the national side. The club was scrapped
immediately after England's game with Greece earlier this month
following criticism from the Home Office and within the FA.
A Home Office report blasted the club for not screening members with
violent criminal convictions and for not doing enough to recruit fans
from ethnic minorities.
A redesigned club will be launched before England's next competitive
game, against Germany in Munich on 1 September.
Communications manager Nick Barron, formerly responsible for promoting
the grassroots-level game, has taken up the role of marketing manager
for the new supporters club.
He reports to James Worrall, commercial development manager, who
oversees all marketing and PR work for the club, which has the working
title of Club England.
Head of communications Paul Newman's five-strong team will handle media
enquiries about the club.
PR agency Good Relations was recently taken on to help the FA
communicate the club's situation to the national media, in particular to
home affairs journalists.
Barron said: 'Clearly there are problems with some of the travelling
fans. There are new laws in place to be tougher with fans that cause
trouble and the relaunch of the England Member's Club is part of that
He pledged that those with convictions for violence would be banned from
joining and greater emphasis would be put on recruiting families and
those from ethnic minorities.
He added: 'We want a better service. Instead of just arranging tickets,
we want to give a full service and give members a sense of community
that perhaps wasn't previously there. It's important this is
communicated properly to the members and the media.'
Last year, the Football (disorder) Act was introduced in the wake of
violence by England fans at Euro 2000 in Belgium and the
Under the new law, police can ban those suspected of hooliganism, even
if they don't have a conviction.
During Euro 2000, 750 England fans were arrested in Belgium on 16 June
alone, the day before England's game against Germany.
Suspects planning to attend a game can be issued with a notice to attend
a banning order hearing at court, as they leave the country. Fans who
make racist remarks can also be served with the notice.