Whitecaps introduce new CEO
Vancouver Whitecaps FC officially introduced new chief executive officer Paul Barber today in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.
Barber, who comes from Tottenham Hotspur Football Club of the English Premier League, joins president Bob Lenarduzzi and chief operating officer Rachel Lewis in heading up the Whitecaps executive team, as the club moves towards 2011 and their inaugural season in Major League Soccer (MLS). Barber will act as the primary representative within the club for the Vancouver MLS 2011 ownership group, and bring world-class experience and leadership to the club’s business and soccer operations.
"Paul's arrival in Vancouver is a momentous occasion for our club - and for the sport of soccer in North America," said Lenarduzzi. "Major League Soccer's profile - and Vancouver's - is now such that internationally renowned talent, whether it be players or management, want to be a part of what is happening here. Paul brings a resume to the table that is unmatched in the world of North American professional soccer; his experience will undoubtedly help us excel as one of the top clubs in MLS and CONCACAF."
The Province - Former Tottenham Hotspur exec takes over as Vancouver Whitecaps' CEO
The Canadian Press/TSN - Whitecaps hope to keep Olympic euphoria with move to MLS
Barber, 42, was most recently the executive director of Tottenham Hotspur, where he has been part of the North London club’s board of directors since 2005. Reporting to executive chairman, Barber was responsible for all of Tottenham's key operational divisions, including commercial areas, ticketing and hospitality, international tours and friendly matches, and the club's soccer development area. Last spring, Forbes.com listed the 127-year old club as the 11th most valuable soccer team in the world at US$445 million, with annual revenue of US$245 million.
"I'm proud to be joining the Whitecaps at this exciting time in the club's history," said Barber. "The Whitecaps have demonstrated a commitment to success, to developing the sport of soccer in British Columbia and Canada, and to making a contribution to the community. Player development programs such as the women’s teams, the residency side, and the numerous youth teams, have played key roles in the club’s success, and we will continue to build on those traditions, as we enter a new era for the club."
A native of North London, England, Barber has also worked with the London host city group that is supporting England’s efforts to stage the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup. He also serves on the board of Rose Bowl plc - parent company of Hampshire County Cricket Club - as a non-executive director.
ABOUT VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, the Whitecaps created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, the Whitecaps have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Vancouver will play their inaugural season in Major League Soccer.