Harris weaves web return at Express

If Harry Harris himself were to have written a piece about his return to the pages of the Express at the weekend, there are some who might imagine he’d have described it as “a bigger comeback than the legendary Lazarus”.

But, as Richard Littlejohn would say, you really couldn’t make it up: Harry Harris, former chief football writer at the Daily Express, featured in the Sunday Express at the weekend with a backpage splash, little more than a year since his high-profile departure from the group as part of widespread cut backs.

As well as writing several books, at the start of the English football season Harris was signed up by ESPN’s football website, soccernet, for daily football news stories and columns.

His appearance in the Express marks an unusual reversal of the usual flow of sports news from print to web.

Sunday Express Editor Martin Townsend has brokered a deal to re-use Harris’s material in his paper, apparently with the sanction of Express Newspapers’ owner Richard Desmond, while providing a hefty in-paper credit to soccernet.

“Essentially, they’re re-using what Harry has written for us,” John Brewin, soccernet’s site editor, told, “and we are happy with the arrangement as long as they attribute to us.”

Harris’s breaking story on the latest takeover at Portsmouth – first run on soccernet on Saturday – got the arrangement off to a flying start.

Soccernet is one of Disney-owned ESPN’s rapidly growing portfolio of sports websites, many operating out of offices in Hammersmith. After acquiring cricinfo from the Getty family, ESPN also runs rugby website and motorsport site racinglive, while they are recruiting senior staff for, which is to launch in December.

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