The Football Writers Association has revealed that Times chief football commentator Patrick Barclay is leaving the paper by “mutual consent” as part of a round of cutbacks across Times Newspapers.
Barclay is quoted on the FWA website: “It was the Times’s decision not mine but I fully support it given my salary, relatively short time there and the need for cost cutting. In the shoes of whoever made the decision I’d have done the same.
“I spoke to a senior executive and I was told they had a serious cost cutting exercise and a few days later I became part of it. I’m not being replaced as the title of chief football commentator, which must be the most pretentious ever devised, is being made redundant.”
Barclay is considered by colleagues to be one of the best sports writers in the business – as evidenced by the fact that he came sixth in Press Gazette’s top 50 sports journalists list (as voted for by journalists themselves).
In October it was announced that 150 journalists were to be cut from The Times and Sunday Times.