Wembley sponsorship head quits for start-up

Clive Richards, head of sponsorship for Wembley National Stadium, is leaving the company at the end of the year to launch a new media venture.

His departure comes amid controversy over the construction of the 90,000-seat development. It is not clear if the stadium has started seeking a replacement.

Wembley Stadium marketing and commercial director Jonathan Gregory says that Richards has been “instrumental” in building a sponsorship programme for the stadium over the past three years.

The stadium has brokered founding partnership deals with Microsoft, Umbro and Carlsberg, alongside alliances with Betfred and npower. Gregory adds that the company is close to announcing “further deals” with sponsors.

Richards joined the company in October 2003 from sports marketing and entertainment agency IMG, where he was international vice-president.

Wembley National Stadium – the Football Association (FA) subsidiary that owns and will operate the new stadium – has been embroiled in a six-year saga over the final cost of the venture.

Australian construction firm Multiplex, which signed a fixed price agreement to build the new stadium for £757m in September 2000, later claimed extra costs after the original design specifications were changed.

In October, the FA confirmed it had settled all “outstanding disputes” with Multiplex agreeing to pay additional £36m.

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