Doogan leaves journalism to become Villa PR

Another leading sports journalist has opted to move into public relations.

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has appointed Brian Doogan as the club’s head of media.

Doogan, who has been working freelance since leaving the full-time sports staff at the Sunday Times, starts in his new job on Monday.

Like O’Neill, Doogan is from Northern Ireland, and he was the Daily Express‘s Midlands football reporter when O’Neill was in charge at Leicester City. The reporter and manager have remained in close contact ever since.

Doogan left the Express to go to the Sunday Times as boxing and football correspondent. Doogan has been a long-time contributor to The Ring magazine, he ghosted Joe Calzaghe’s biography, and he has also covered golf in the United States for the News of the World and Mirror. Doogan was short-listed for the SJA’s Specialist Correspondent prize at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards in 2007.

Villa’s press department has been run by Paul Tyrrell, formerly Manchester City’s head of media, on a part-time basis for the last few months. He stepped in as cover for Steve Tudgay, who was off sick on a long-term basis. Tudgay has now left and O’Neill – who has had several visits to the law courts in recent years after pursuing newspapers in libel claims – wanted a full-time replacement.

â–¡ Notts County, probably the highest profile bottom tier football club in history of sport, has moved quickly to fill the PR void left by Matt Lorenzo’s departure after his brief stay as director of communications.

The League Two club has appointed Mace Sport, run by Paul Mace, as media consultants.

â–¡Hassan Hadi, sports editor of the Croydon Advertiser for nearly eight years and a regular casual on the sports desks of the Daily Mail website and Mail on Sunday, has left the local paper.

Hadi intends to take up teaching.

Hadi is the second senior departure from the Advertiser‘s sports desk in the past few months, following Crystal Palace reporter Sami Mokboel’s decision to freelance. No replacement for Hadi has yet been announced.

Click here for more recent articles on journalism, sport and sports journalism

SJA members can cast their votes for the Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year by clicking here.