Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 25

People and Pop Culture

New Zealand Football CEO ANDY MARTIN took over his new role in February. Martin was previously the CEO of the London Irish Rugby Club where he oversaw a two-year project that led to the successful buyout of the club. Martin began his career working for Barclays bank where he served as a board member and managing director in the corporate bank. He is a passionate supporter of EPL side Liverpool.

On how frequently he has been able to watch or follow Liverpool since moving to New Zealand ...
Martin: It’s quite ironic that like many longstanding fans, I have waited over 20 years for the opportunity to see Liverpool win the EPL and now that it’s near, I’m on the other side of the world. That said, I’ve been tracking their progress closely and been getting up very early in the mornings to watch them. The football family in New Zealand is very aware of my close allegiance and will be the first to run for cover if we falter. Not that we will.

On what excites him about living in New Zealand and what he misses about the U.K. ...
Martin: As a Lake District boy, I was always going to go back to the outdoor life. It was just a case of where and when. Having only been here seven weeks, I am excited by the many beautiful places already added to my list to visit. New Zealanders seem to fully embrace outdoor living and all have a secret must-visit favorite place that they’re willing to share. It’s been a whirlwind first couple of months, everyone has been very welcoming and therefore I’ve had very little time to miss the U.K. to be honest.

On his assessment that New Zealand football is “at a potentially transformational point in its history” ...
Martin: Football is already the largest participant sport in New Zealand thanks to the introduction, several years ago, of the market leading Whole of Football Plan. The large numbers of junior players now coming through our development systems need enhanced pathways to ensure they are retained in the game and, for the best, developed even further. If we get this right, the result will be more New Zealand qualified players available for our national league, the Wellington Phoenix (our professional team), and the national teams.

On his vision for the future of New Zealand Football ...
Martin: We need to excite the nation much more often. We have seen with the previous World Cup playoff matches that there is a huge demand for football in New Zealand -- we need to try and satisfy that demand. We need to see our elite teams perform on home soil more often and also deliver on-field success with qualification for the 2018 World Cup at the front of our minds. We need to create homegrown heroes to inspire our children and the next generation of All Whites and Ferns starting with the hosting of the FIFA U20 World Cup next year.

On what lessons he took from working at Barclays that transferred to running a rugby club or football organization ...
Martin: Barclays was very focused on ensuring that customers and colleagues were at the heart of everything we did -- from product design to service standards. This remained the case regardless of the external operating environment, be it benign or volatile (as during the global financial crisis). Coming into sport, whilst winning is always the objective, as an administrator remembering the importance of the customer (supporter) and your colleagues is vital regardless of the result even though emotion can take over and, at times, try to steer you in a different direction. It’s fair to say that emotion plays less of a role in banking than it does in sport.

Hangin' With is a weekly feature that runs Fridays in SBD Global.

League Championship side Nottingham Forest confirmed the appointment of STUART PEARCE "as their new manager from July 1." Owner and Chair FAWAZ AL HASAWI "confirmed the appointment via Twitter ahead of a 12.30pm press conference." Former Forest favorite Pearce, whose last role was with England's U21 side, "initially turned down the job following talks last week, citing family reasons" (London INDEPENDENT, 4/3). ... The Uruguayan FA has a new exec board led by new President WILMAR VALDEZ. Valdez is joined on the AUF's new exec board by VP JORGE BARRERA, Secretary General ALEJANDRO BALBI, Economic Secretary IGNACIO ALONSO and National Team Secretary ROBERTO PASTORIZA. The previous AUF board "stepped down amid controversy this week, which dates back to a fight last Wednesday during a Copa Libertadores match" (EL PAIS, 4/3).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

German media corporation Constantin Medien has appointed supervisory board member FRED KOGEL "as its new COO." Kogel "will start his new position on Oct. 1." In addition, Kogel "will become COO of Constantin Film's TV and new business department." KF 15 Manging Dir DIETER HAHN "is expected to succeed Kogel on the supervisory board" (KRESS, 4/3). ... Korea's Kookmin University has officially informed the IOC that Rep. MOON DAE-SUNG of the ruling Saenuri Party, who is a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, "got his Ph.D from the school fraudulently." It "remains to be seen whether this will prompt the IOC to reopen its investigation of Moon, a former taekwondo athlete who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games" (KOREA TIMES, 4/3). ... A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers striker BRENDON SANTALAB "will have to wait another week to learn his fate after a second disciplinary hearing into his alleged racial abuse" of Sydney FC's ALI ABBAS "failed to reach a verdict." All evidence "has been lodged and both sides have stated their case" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 4/3). ... Scottish 400m runner LEE MCCONNELL "has announced her retirement from athletics with immediate effect." McConnell, who took silver at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and bronze in Melbourne, said that her life "had changed since becoming a mother." McConnell: "I've now reached the decision that my career as a professional athlete has come to an end" (BBC, 4/3). ... Russian Olympic Committee President ALEXANDER ZHUKOV said that he is "surprised" to be appointed IOC evaluation commission chairman. Zhukov: "I only found out yesterday too. For me it was a bit of a surprise that I have to chair the commission that will decide which city will stage the 2022 Olympic Games" (R-SPORT, 4/3). ... Real Madrid striker GARETH BALE, "the world’s most expensive footballer, will visit Indonesia at the end of May to lend his aerial ability to a Jakarta football festival in which participants will have to head balls hanging between the National Monument and the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle." In addition to the event, “Indonesia Menyundul Bola” (Indonesia Heads the Ball), Bale "will also attend a charity event and a coaching clinic" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 4/3). 

ENCOURAGING SIGNS: SABINE KEHM, the manager of former F1 driver MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, said that there are "encouraging" signs in the process of bringing the seven-time world champion out of an artificial coma. Kehm said, "I can only say again there are signs which are encouraging" (BILD, 4/3). The front cover of German women's magazine Die Aktuelle took the "inaccurate and ethically dubious reporting surrounding the former Formula One champion's medical treatment to a whole new low." Together with the headline "Awake!," the magazine published a picture of the star smiling with his wife CORINNA. Naturally, the issue "has sparked criticism from Schumacher fans and foreign media alike" (London INDEPENDENT, 4/2).

BBC's JENNIE GOW: "Sitting here in  reminds me of a certain circuit in Qatar…looks fantastic! "

London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Good debate at #ESASponSummit over poor image of sponsorship industry. Generally agreed it needs a single voice on issues like Qatar W Cup."

AP's STEVE WILSON: "Brit tab headlines on Chelsea loss to PSG: `Mourinho draws a Blanc' `Sacre Blues' `Chumps Elysees!' `Oui Blew It,' `Kicked in the Gauls.'"

London Daily Mirror's OLIVER HOLT: "Anybody got a spare for Bayern Munich next Wednesday?"

If you see a tweet we will not want to miss, send it to us at