The Sunday Times has bolstered its football coverage by appointing a European football correspondent, the first British newspaper to have a dedicated staff writer covering international matches and news from Europe.
Ian Hawkey, who has been writing for the paper for almost seven years, has been given a wide roving brief. He will live in Barcelona and will be responsible for coverage of the Champions League and the Uefa Cup and breaking exclusives on the European football scene.
The paper’s sports editor, Alex Butler, said: "European football is getting bigger and now takes up nearly 30 per cent of a successful club’s timetable. We are convinced there will be some kind of European super league within years. Our readers are very knowledgeable about the European game and hungry for information about the major clubs. The transfer market is such that they are just as keen to read about Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus as they are about teams in the Premiership.
"Looking ahead to midweek Euro-pean games has become a key part of a Sunday sports section. With the rapid expansion of the Champions League, we have been sending Ian and top writers like Brian Glanville abroad on almost a weekly basis. Basing Ian in Barcelona is the next logical step so he can build up even closer contacts on the Continent."
Hawkey joined The Sunday Times in Johannesburg in 1991, as a general reporter, before specialising in sport. He freelanced for the BBC World Service (English and French), Agence France Presse and several national British broadsheets. He has covered two Olympics, two European championships, four African Nations Cups, a football World Cup and major cricket tours to India, Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.