Tuesday, November 24, 2009
WHITECAPS APPOINT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FROM ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB
For Immediate Release: November 24, 2009
WHITECAPS APPOINT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FROM ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB
VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that Paul Barber, of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club of the English Premier League, has been named the new chief executive officer of the Whitecaps, effective March 1, 2010.
Barber will join president Bob Lenarduzzi and chief operating officer Rachel Lewis in heading up the Whitecaps executive team, as the club moves towards 2011 and their inaugural season in Major League Soccer (MLS). Barber will act as the primary representative within the club for the Vancouver MLS 2011 ownership group, and bring world-class experience and leadership to the club’s business and soccer operations.
"Paul brings the stature of our club to the next level and we are thrilled to add such an invaluable asset," said Lenarduzzi. "Paul comes to Vancouver from one of the most storied clubs in the world, which competes with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, in one of the world’s most successful leagues. He has an incredible international network and set of skills in both the technical and commercial areas that will no doubt help us reach our vision of being one of the best sports franchises in the world."
Barber, 42, is currently the executive director of Tottenham Hotspur, having joined the North London club’s board of directors in 2005. Reporting to executive chairman, Daniel Levy, Barber is responsible for all of Tottenham's key operational divisions, including commercial areas, ticketing and hospitality, international tours and friendly matches, and the club's soccer development area, which includes domestic and international coaching programs and soccer camps. Last spring, Forbes.com listed the 127-year old club as the 11th most valuable soccer team in the world at US$445-million, with an annual revenue of US$245-million.
"I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Paul and his family very well over the past three years," added Vancouver MLS 2011 co-owner Jeff Mallett. "We have met numerous times on both sides of the ocean, to talk football and explore possible opportunities in Vancouver. Through our correspondence, it became clear that Paul is the right leader to successfully head up our MLS efforts. Our entire ownership group is very pleased to have Paul on board in Vancouver, but perhaps none more than Steve Nash, who also knows Paul personally and has been an avid Spurs supporter since childhood."
"I have been hugely impressed by the ownership group’s vision for the Whitecaps, and for the significant opportunity that Major League Soccer represents throughout North America," said Barber. "All four owners are extremely passionate about the game and they are determined to ensure the Whitecaps provide an incredible soccer legacy - not just for Vancouver, but for Canada as a whole. This is already a fantastic and very well supported soccer franchise with a highly professional infrastructure and a genuine ambition to be one of the biggest and best run club sides in the world. I am looking forward to the future here in Vancouver, leading and learning from a very talented and highly committed group of people."
Over the next three months, Barber will focus on his role as executive director at Tottenham, where he is currently leading the club’s negotiations to secure a new shirt sponsor, as well as stadium naming rights partners. The native of North London will also continue to support England’s efforts to stage the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup, where he is a member of the London host city group, and to sit on the board of Rose Bowl plc - parent company of Hampshire County Cricket Club - where he is a non-executive director. Barber and his family will relocate to Vancouver from March 2010 onwards, at which time he will be available to provide further comment on his role with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, the Whitecaps created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, the Whitecaps have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Vancouver will play their inaugural season in Major League Soccer. For more information about the Whitecaps, visit whitecapsfc.com.
Statement from Terry Byrne – Chairman, 1966 Entertainment Ltd.
Many congratulations to everybody at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on making one of the best signings to date for North American soccer in the appointment of Paul Barber from Tottenham Hotspur.
Paul leaves English soccer to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in all aspects of the game, having spent several years playing a pivotal role in and around the England national team as the commercial director before moving onto working for the club he supported since childhood in Tottenham Hotspur.
He will be a key appointment in driving the Whitecaps forwards as they head towards joining Major League Soccer and this appointment will also help MLS and North American soccer generally as the game continues its evolution and growth within the world's most popular sport.
Paul's departure from England will be a loss to the game in the UK, however it is definitely a gain for the game of soccer in North America.
I would like to wish Paul and his family every success and once again congratulate the bright people at the Whitecaps who identified Paul and made the decision to tempt him across the waters.
About Paul Barber
Barber, 42, is currently executive director of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, of the English Premier League. He joined the board of directors at the London-based club in 2005 and, reporting to executive chairman, Daniel Levy, is responsible for all of the club's key operational divisions including commercial areas, ticketing and hospitality, international tours and friendly matches, and the club's soccer development area, which includes domestic and international coaching programs and soccer camps.
A former commercial and marketing director of The Football Association in England, Barber was responsible for developing programs for the marketing, communication and commercial affairs, including broadcast rights, of the England national team and The FA Cup, the largest domestic knock-out cup competition in the world. He also extensively supported the development of women's, youth and grass roots soccer in England securing long term and innovative sponsorship agreements with some of the world's leading consumer brands.
Barber's international soccer experience includes being a member of the England national team's official party that travelled to Japan/Korea for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and to the 2000 UEFA European Championships in Belgium/Holland. With Tottenham Hotspur, he enjoyed three successive years of UEFA's European club football competition between 2006 and 2008 as well as the club's two consecutive Cup Final appearances at the new Wembley Stadium in London in 2008 (versus Chelsea) and 2009 (versus Manchester United).
Barber's earlier career included senior commercial and marketing roles with some of Europe's leading businesses, including Barclays Bank, where he was a member of the Retail Board, and the US-based advertising and marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather, where he was CEO for the group's Europe, Middle East and Africa communications division and a member of the agency's European board.
Lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan and native north Londoner, Barber is a Football Association qualified coach and former amateur player. He currently coaches a U-16 community team in London. He and his family will relocate to Vancouver in 2010 and in the interim he will continue to support England's efforts to stage the 2018/2022 World Cup, where he is a member of the London host city group, and to sit on the board of Rose Bowl plc - parent company of Hampshire County Cricket Club - where he is a non-executive director.
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