Reporter nominated for part-time work

Bill Wilson with English Premier League trophy

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BBC reporter Bill Wilson has bagged a nomination as football business writer of the year despite only focusing on the topic part-time.

He told Ariel he was "absolutely flabbergasted" to be up against full-time specialist reporters, including those working for The Times and Mail on Sunday.

Since 2003, Wilson has worked as a general business reporter but spends part of his role covering the financial aspects of sport, with some out-of-hours networking in the industry.

After it was noted that sport business stories were becoming more popular, BBC News decided to create a dedicated website in 2010, which Wilson edits and writes for.

"I suppose the topic was always newsworthy but there's a greater awareness of sport as a business now," he says.

"Sport isn't just about the results, team selection and managerial changes - there are so many elements now, like sponsorship, TV rights and new stadiums… It's moved from the back pages to politics and business."

Soccer and basketball

He adds that it's a marked difference to a decade ago when the height of commercialisation was clubs selling ringtones. In the last five years, he says, sport has becoming increasingly globalised, with the UK selling soccer to key markets in the US and Asia.

"The development I've noticed is that US sports like American football and NBA basketball are trying to make inroads in Britain and Asia… in contrast to us, they're also selling their sports to Europe."

With funding from the Global News division, he's been able to focus on individual sports including the 100th Tour de France last summer, and praises the support he has received from business editors Jon Zhilka and Robert McKenzie.

A passionate sports fan, Saturdays mean football for him, even if it's just watching non-league Hanwell Town.

The Glasgow-born journalist has also spent much time and money following the Scotland team, which hasn't qualified for a major tournament since World Cup 1998.

"I'm still waiting for the reinvestment to be repaid."

  • The Football Business Awards will be held at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium on Thursday

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