FA’s Phil Carling quits for Octagon

Football Association commercial director Phil Carling has quit the sport’s governing body to oversee Octagon Worldwide’s footballing interests.

His future had been in doubt following chief executive Adam Crozier’s decision to draft in a director of marketing (MW May 11) over him. Carling had run the commercial division for nearly five years.

Former Barclays Bank director of communications Paul Barber was brought in to implement Crozier’s branding and marketing offensive.

Barber is now reviewing the FA marketing structure. He has yet to decide whether Carling will be replaced.

During his time at the FA, Carling was responsible for a threefold increase in commercial revenue, including the Axa FA Cup deal and Nationwide’s sponsorship of the England national team. He joined the FA from Arsenal Football Club, where he was marketing director.

At Octagon, he will be a senior vice-president and report to joint managing director Matthew Wheeler. He is also likely to take over some of the responsibilities of media director Sean Jefferson, who has left the company to become managing director of Arena International (MW last week).

Octagon, which recently denied reports linking it with the purchase of a stake in Arsenal FC, has formed a partnership with German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt. It is also understood to be helping officials in the South Korean capital Seoul to set up the city’s first domestic football club.

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