Award-winning journalist to start new role on September 1
WEST Bromwich Albion are today delighted to announce the appointment of award-winning Midlands journalist Martin Swain as the club’s new Director of Communications.
Martin, a well-known and respected commentator on football in the region for many years, will take up his duties on September 1.
The appointment of the Express & Star’s chief sports writer, who was recently named Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year, continues the club’s extensive review of its internal structures this summer.
Chairman Jeremy Peace said: “We took a long, hard look at all aspects of the club’s operations at the end of last season and decided this was another appointment which we needed to make with some urgency.
“I fully recognise that the season ended with everyone relieved to have maintained Premier League status and our supporters registered their discontent on a range of other issues.
“I believe that as Director of Communications, Martin can begin and lead the task of healing some of those tensions and build a new way forward to ensure this perceived gap between club and supporters is closed.
“I know the fans want that, as do I and the rest of the board. We have to go forward together.
“Beyond that lies the wider task of the club’s media operation. Martin is an experienced and well-regarded figure within the football media industry with an advanced knowledge of this club’s community and heritage. I am delighted he accepted the post.”
Martin, 59, will leave his post at the Express & Star at the end of this week after 25 years during which he has covered major sporting events across the globe as well as much closer to home.
Before joining the country’s largest-selling regional newspaper, he worked in a similar capacity at the Birmingham Post & Mail and has authored acclaimed books involving some of the region’s biggest football names. He has written extensively on all aspects of West Midlands football.
He said: “This is an exciting challenge and opportunity, one I could not resist.
“I think the very fact that the board at Albion have identified the need for such an appointment underlines their determination to resolve some well-documented difficulties which last season caused the club and the fans much anguish.
“Neither wants to be in conflict with the other and one of my priorities will be to try to ease those problems. A most important element in this is the genuine motivation from the chairman Jeremy Peace and all the board to get a much healthier ‘connect’ to supporters. With that, I’m sure much can be achieved.
“I’m also sure I am about to discover it is a lot easier looking in and commenting from the outside than being on the inside trying to solve problems and go forward!
“But I’m on record as saying that, pound for pound, few if any clubs across the country have performed better than the Baggies since the turn of the Millennium – it is a club with so much going for it and that should be celebrated and promoted.
“For the last 25 years, it’s been an amazing privilege to report on our region’s sport on behalf of the Express & Star. It will clearly be a big wrench to leave the newspaper but this job gives me a chance to make a positive contribution to one of our great institutions and that is what I shall endeavour to do.”
The chairman confirmed that, further to Martin’s appointment, the board will shortly take delivery of an independent audit of the club’s marketing and communications operations which will provide further guidance for future strategies.