Auckland City appoint Gordon Watson as club’s new general manager

Auckland City have named Gordon Watson as the club’s new general manager.

Watson begins the role immediately, taking responsibility for club operations, public relations, media, marketing and communication.

Auckland City president Ivan Vuksich said:

“We’re thrilled to name Gordon as our new General Manager at an exciting time for our club. The 2023 season is a big one for us on a number of fronts as we work to be successful both on and off the football pitch.

“Gordon’s a proven people leader who brings a wealth of knowledge in football across media, culture and communications, and I know he will make a positive impact as we set our sights on the future.”

Over the past 20 years, Watson has worked in senior leadership media roles with FIFA, Oceania Football Confederation, New Zealand Football and Auckland Football Federation, as well as been a lead broadcast commentator for OFC TV, Sky Sport and IMG, a journalist for the Waikato Times and contributing writer to The Scottish Sun and Daily Record in the UK, and held a seat on the Ballon d’Or jury from 2007 to 2022.

Main photo: Gordon Watson … two decades of key roles within football.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Gordon Watson at the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Watson has also provided event consultancy to top-tier clubs in Europe with his roles at FIFA, including three FIFA World Cups as a press officer from 2007 to 2022.

Other events-related work include editorial work on news desks at the Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

He also holds a Bachelor of Arts double major in English, Political History, and post-graduate qualifications in journalism, business administration and public relations from Massey University.

Watson moves from his current role as Auckland City Media Manager, where he helped establish the club’s media and social media presence from 2011 to the present.

Watson said he’s delighted to be taking on the role at such an exciting time of transformation for the club.

“I am excited by the opportunity to contribute in a new role at Auckland City FC which is a club that has aspirations to be successful in everything it does. Working for Auckland City FC provides a unique opportunity to be involved in a football club that wants to evolve.”

Terry Kennelly to take up position on board

Watson replaces Terry Kennelly who has taken up a board position at the club after holding the general manager role since 2011.

Vuksich thanked Kennelly for 12 years of sterling service that started in the 2012-13 season.

“Terry has done an amazing job in the role of general manager since his appointment over a decade ago.

“The club has enjoyed its most successful period on and off the pitch during his tenure, and everyone at the club sincerely thanks Terry for everything he’s done.

“His experience and knowledge is an essential asset and it makes perfect sense for him to take up a position on our club board,” Vuksich said.

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