Bevington takes reins of FA's PR after Palios fiasco

LONDON - Football Association head of media relations Adrian Bevington has taken interim charge of the organisation's PR following its shambolic attempt to cover up an affair between former CEO Mark Palios and secretary Faria Alam.

Communications director Colin Gibson's resignation -- handed in on Monday -- is understood to have been accepted by the FA board, which is already planning to replace Palios.

The departures follow the FA's botched attempts to offer the News of the World details on England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's own affair with Alam in return for keeping quiet on Palios's tryst. The FA's PR strategy has been ridiculed in the media since then.

Bevington has served under former comms bosses such as Steve Double and Paul Newman, as well as Gibson. He is keen to take the top PR job permanently but is believed to be reluctant to serve for a prolonged spell on an interim basis.

Sports reporters contacted by PRWeek were united this week in their condemnation of the FA's PR efforts of the past fortnight, but were split on what actions were necessary to restore its battered image.

Daily Telegraph football correspondent Henry Winter said: 'Bevington has to be given the job -- they need the stability of someone with the trust of the football writers.'

Gibson was unavailable for comment but many believe that he will return to journalism.

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