Football writer Barclay lands transfer to Times

Paddy Barclay, football correspondent at the Sunday Telegraph since 1996, has landed a big-money new year transfer to The Times in the newly created role of “Chief Football Commentator”.

The move could be the last in a recent Fleet Street sports desk merry-go-round, following Paul Hayward’s move from the Mail to the Guardian and Observer group, and three-time SJA Sports Writer of the Year Martin Samuel’s move from The Times to the Mail.

“I’m very very pleased about the move,” Barclay told “It seems like a good time to make the move.

“It’s a chance to work alongside some of the most stimulating writers on football.

For most of my 12 years at the Sunday Telegraph it felt as if I had the best job in football journalism – and now comes an opportunity to move into The Times‘s young and vibrant team. In these difficult times, how lucky can you get?”

Barclay has enjoyed a stellar career, working at The Guardian in the 1980s, before spells as a football writer at the Observer, Today and The Independent prior to joining the Sunday Telegraph. In 1993, he was named the SJA’s Sports Writer of the Year.

An articulate and sensitive observer of the game who has covered six World Cups, he is a regular contributor to Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement and other radio and television programmes.

Barclay’s new role is expected to include match reporting and major football interviews, as well as a weekly column to replace Samuel, while also making a major contribution to the paper’s weekly football supplement. He is expected to join the Wapping team in late February, after serving out his notice period.

Barclay leaves the Telegraph Media Group amid a round of 50 job cuts across the daily and Sunday titles and website, including this week those of golf correspondent Lewine Mair and athletics writer Tom Knight.

Not that The Times is immune from cut-backs, where some casual subbing shifts have been dropped this week, while others have been shortened, with reduced payments as a consequence. According to sources at Wapping, time and motion consultants have been working in the newspaper offices, and widescale job cuts may follow in the new year.

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