One of The Guardian’s most experienced sports writers has been poached by the Financial Times on the eve of the football European Championship.
Matthew Engel has been taken on to write about a range of sports for the paper. His job is a new position created to enable the FT to expand its sports coverage.
Engel started his career on the Northampton Chronicle and Echo and spent two years at Reuters before joining The Guardian in 1979.
He covered 70 different sports as well as reporting on four general elections, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the death of Princess Diana. He was Washington correspondent from 2001 to 2003.
Engel remains editor of the cricket almanac Wisden.
FT sports editor David Owen said: “Matthew is one of the most colourful and incisive sports writers in the UK. He writes brilliantly about sport and many other subjects, and has a large following who rely on his authoritative and original commentary. We are delighted to welcome him.”
An FT spokeswoman said the appointment of Engel does not signal the end of a hiring freeze at the paper which has been in place since 2002, but that the paper “was making exceptions where necessary”.