A SENIOR Setanta Ireland executive has landed one of the top jobs in European football – supervising the running of the Uefa Champions League.
Irishman Tim Tuomey (38), who left his job as deputy head of programming at Setanta last Friday, has become head of television content for Team Marketing, the Switzerland-based company behind the organisation of the world's biggest club football competition.
He will now be responsible for the pictures that are beamed into millions of homes worldwide on Champions League nights.
"It's an international platform of world sport that doesn't get much bigger," said the father-of-two, who is now preparing for a new life in Lucerne.
Tuomey's role will be to ensure that the pan-European broadcasting of matches is homogenous in form and content.
Everything from TV direction to the streamlining of graphics is strictly run to ensure the product is familiar and exact across the board.
"Essentially we liaise with Champions League rights holders all over the world, working closely with the host broadcasters to ensure the very highest standards possible in match coverage," he told the Sunday Tribune.
"The aim is to ensure that the great experience, quality and talent of the many hosts throughout Europe comes through in the coverage of matches which are then shown to football fans all over the world.
"There are some compromises that come with that, of course. If you imagine a game taking place in say, Turkey, when there is a Turkish celebrity in the crowd, it would be the natural inclination for the Turkish director to, on occasion, show that person on screen. Of great interest to the Turkish viewers perhaps, but not necessarily to the millions of viewers watching elsewhere in the world. So one aspect of our job is to ensure the coverage has universal appeal.
"The television coverage of the Champions League has become a tremendous success. The challenge for me now is to go in and try and improve it."
Tuomey spent eight years as sports editor at Today FM, producing the station's live Saturday afternoon premier league programme, before moving to Setanta Ireland in 2005. He starts the new job next week.
Apart from the production values of both Champions League and Europa League coverage, Team Marketing is also responsible for all other aspects of the tournaments, including the event management of each game.
That includes everything from ensuring the sponsorship branding in the stadia is right, to arranging for the world's superstar footballers to line out for post-match interviews, individually booked by stations from all over Europe.
"Managing such events is a very exciting prospect. Being the person that everyone looks to at a venue when problems arise, which are inevitable, is a great challenge. Dealing with the game's top players and managers, and ensuring that the night runs smoothly for them, is a huge responsibility.
"I doubt I'll be able to sleep the night before I do the first one! But I can't wait to get started."