New digital sports subscription publishers The Athletic have added three leading regional paper writers to their expanding team.
Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post, Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce and Wolves reporter Tim Spiers have all announced their departures via social media.
The Athletic, an American company which launched in 2016, plans to launch a UK edition in August and are recruiting 50-55 editorial staff.
Their site promises no advertising and no click bait and plans to charge £40 a year for access to exclusive, high-quality content.
Hay, who has reported on Leeds for years, was shortlisted at the SJA British Sports Journalism awards in the regional writer category.
After 14 years at the Echo, including eight-and-a-half as the #LFC correspondent, I’ll be leaving on July 5. It’s been an absolute privilege and I feel very lucky to have worked with so many great people. A new opportunity has opened up to cover the Reds. More on that to follow.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) June 20, 2019
After 15 years at the YEP, I’m leaving the paper next week. Thirteen years home and away with Leeds United, which has been some adventure. They say you get less for murder but you get less for winning the lottery too. I’m grateful for all of it.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) June 13, 2019
A spokesman for The Athletic told Hold The Front Page: “We are looking forward to launching The Athletic’s written, audio, and video journalism in the UK. This is the home of the world’s most popular football league, of a wealth of brilliant writers and of fans with an insatiable appetite for coverage of their teams.
“The Athletic is building a line-up of the most talented and connected football journalists and our ambitious plans include not only comprehensive coverage of every Premier League club, but also highly localised football reporting beyond the top flight. More details will be released as the new season approaches.”