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Lifelong Spurs fan Barber quits O&M for director role at Tottenham

LONDON - Paul Barber, chief executive of Ogilvy PR for Europe, is to leave the agency world and take up the role of executive director of Tottenham Hotspur.

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Barber is a lifelong Spurs fan and has a background in the industry from his four years as director of marketing at the Football Association, a role he held from 2000 to 2003.

He is understood to have been briefed to help the club compete with London rivals and Premiership big guns Chelsea and Arsenal, overseeing commercial and marketing activity.

Spurs are currently sitting in seventh place in the Premier League on 46 points, 35 behind league leader Chelsea, which has racked up 81 points.

Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham, said: "It is important that we now strengthen and extend the commercial activities of the club. Paul was an outstanding candidate for this role and I am delighted he will be joining the club."

Barber comes from a public relations background, having being named corporate communications director of Inchcape in 1996, aged just 29.

Two years later, he joined Barclays as director of communications for its retail financial services division. He stayed with the bank for two years, before taking up the top marketing role at the FA.

Barber, a season ticket holder at Tottenham, said: "The club is at an interesting and exciting point in its history and I am relishing the challenge of building and developing the commercial operations of one of the world's truly famous football clubs."

The seventh-placed club may be in line for a place in next year's Uefa Cup. Last month, it reported pre-tax profits of £1m for the six months until the end of December 2004, despite a decrease in turnover, down from £33.2m to £32.9m

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