A former chief executive of the Football Association has joined the sports agency arm of Newcastle law firm Quantum Law LLP.
Ian Watmore, formerly a Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office, has joined Quantum’s Dean Street offices as a non-executive chairman.
The firm - which has divisions in commercial law, business services, property, employment and litigation - also has a sports management agency for professional athletes which handles contract and transfer negotiations, PR and media support and image rights.
Its clients include Durham and England cricketers Graham Onions and Phil Mustard, as well as a growing number of up-and-coming footballers.
A former managing director of Accenture and a board member of the English Institute of Sport and the Rugby World Cup, Mr Watmore has a degree in mathematics and management studies from Trinity College, Cambridge.
His 20 year-old son Duncan is professional footballer at Sunderland AFC after starting his career at Altrincham.
Mr Watmore said: “I met Quantum through managing Duncan’s transition from non-league football to Sunderland. I was impressed by the ethical and professional approach of everyone I met, and the way they are trying to help young talent succeed.
“As Greg Dyke’s FA Commission has highlighted, it is hard for young English footballing talent to break through the glass ceiling to full professional status, and the Quantum approach to young player pathways is first class.
“I was keen to use the experience I have gained with the FA and with Duncan to help Quantum’s players reach their potential, on and off the pitch.”
Last week Mr Watmore spoke out against Premier League clubs creating global feeder clubs to “bypass” fair play rules.
Since leaving Accenture in 2004, he has held jobs as the Permanent Secretary for Department for Innovation, University and Skills, head of the e-Government Unit and head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.
As well as a year leading the FA, he has been a board member of England Rugby 2015, the body responsible for next year’s Rugby World Cup, which has a number of matches being played in Newcastle.
Quantum managing partner, Steven Smith, added: “We already have a great full time team led by Marco Gabbiadini and James Welch, and a terrific group of players. But I was looking for someone to chair the business to the next level and I am delighted Ian has agreed to join us.”