A former chief executive of the Football Association is to chair Liverpool’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games.
Brian Barwick 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 62-year-old Liverpudlian is chairman of the Rugby Football League, chairman of Super League Europe, chairman of the National League and a member of the FA Council.
The former head of BBC Sport and controller of ITV Sport, who was chief executive of the FA between 2005 and 2008, will lead Team Liverpool.
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.”
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson added: “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.”
Working with Barwick and Anderson is Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale, a director at Everton FC, who will be taking on the role of deputy chairman of Liverpool’s bid. The advisers who will be working on the bid are 4 global Consulting (strategic advisers and project managers), Wilson Owens Owens (technical feasibility), Deloitte (financial feasibility and economic impact assessment), Vero Communications (PR and communications), Brand Oath (bid brand).
Liverpool City Council said that an intense three- to six-month period of activity would 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 Dock 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 the efforts.