The Football Association has stressed its continued support and commitment to the England coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, after the enforced departure of one of his closest confidants, Paul Newman, the head of communications.
Newman, a former BBC reporter, had rarely left Eriksson's side in public on England duty. He was one of six members of the FA's previously 30-strong marketing and communications department who were given their redundancy notices yesterday. The FA is reducing staff costs by about 20 per cent amid increased financial pressures.
Eriksson has now seen the former chief executive, Adam Crozier, and his coaching assistant, Steve McClaren, all leave his closest circle in the past nine months. However, Paul Barber, the FA's marketing and communications director, insisted: "Sven is aware of the situation and, although he is obviously disappointed, he understands the painful decisions which have been made."
Newman will be replaced, at least on a short-term basis, by his deputy, Adrian Bevington, the head of media relations.
The FA also made redundancies in the press office (one), the events team (two), the business development side (one) and the brand management team (one). Those made redundant were asked to leave the building, in their own time, but without serving any notice period.
The FA said earlier this year that it was making £13m-a-year cuts across the board as major ongoing projects, such as the new Wembley and a national football centre, have stretched their resources.
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