Former FA Chief To Lead Commonwealth Games Bid

Image: Gareth Jones
SPORTS executive Brian Barwick is to Chair Liverpool’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games. The 62-year-old Liverpudlian – who is Chair of the Rugby Football League (RFL), Super League Europe Ltd, the National League and a member of the FA Council – will spearhead the city’s drive to secure the event in 2026, or 2022 should the UK host the Commonwealth Games following Durban’s recent withdrawal. The former head of BBC Sport, controller of ITV Sport and Chief Executive of the Football Association will lead ‘Team Liverpool’ – a group of world-leading experts with an unparalleled track record in successfully bidding for major sporting events, including the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and the FIFA World Cup. Brian Barwick said: “Having worked in and around sport most of my adult life, the chance to lead the work for my home city of Liverpool to host the Commonwealth Games is a huge privilege. I am delighted to be involved in this project and clear that Liverpool, with such an illustrious sports history, will make the perfect host city for the Commonwealth Games. “I have already spent some time with the team and am very impressed with their enthusiasm and expertise.” Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I am delighted that Brian Barwick has accepted my invitation to Chair the city’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games. He brings a wealth of experience both as a leader of some of the biggest sports organisations in the country and a successful career at the highest level in TV sport. “Brian’s appointment, alongside a number of other highly respected advisors, sends out a powerful message that we are deadly serious about bidding for the games. We already have a first class reputation in putting on major events during and since our time as European Capital of Culture in 2008.  I firmly believe we have the passion, belief and the ability to win and deliver a Commonwealth Games that can make the whole country and the Commonwealth proud. “The Commonwealth Games has the potential to be a game changer in further driving forward the city’s regeneration and renaissance, reflecting our growing confidence and attracting jobs, investment and profile that money simply can’t buy, putting us on the world map. “The team of advisers now working with us is world class and over the coming months our priority is to put in place a compelling bid that will resonate with the Government, Commonwealth Games England and, ultimately, the Commonwealth Games Federation. These are exciting times for our city.” Working with Brian and the Mayor will be one of the most prominent and respected women in sport Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale who is a Director at Everton Football Club and an Executive Chair of Everton in the Community. Denise will be taking on the role of Deputy Chair of Liverpool’s bid. Professor Barrett-Baxendale, said: “Liverpool has proven itself time and again as a natural home for world class events. I am incredibly proud to be part of Team Liverpool, working on a Commonwealth Games bid that will engage and excite the community in sporting activity.” An intense 3-6 month period of activity will now get underway to put together the strongest possible case for Liverpool to be the host city, looking at venues for sports events such as ACC Liverpool and the proposed new Everton FC stadium at Bramley Moore against the technical requirements set by the Commonwealth Games Federation. Local sporting stars including heptathlon Katarina Johnson-Thompson, boxer Tony Bellew, gymnast Beth Tweddle and footballer Jamie Carragher have already backed Liverpool’s bid. A budget of up to £500,000 has been set aside for Liverpool’s bid.  If successful, Liverpool would follow Glasgow – the most recent UK city to host the Games in 2014 – which estimated the event brought in £100 million to the city’s economy.