Brian Barwick (born 1954) is an English sports administrator who has served as the chairman of the Rugby Football League (RFL) since January 2013. He is a former chief executive of The Football Association, having held the post from January 2005 to December 2008. He previously worked with the BBC and ITV. He is a known supporter of Liverpool F.C. and is a member of the Board of Directors at Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C. In February 2012 he was appointed by Liverpool F.C owners to the management hierarchy of the club, where his first job was to review the clubs communications network in light of the Luis Suárez racism incident.
He later worked as a journalist for the North West Evening Mail, based in Barrow-in-Furness, before joining the BBC's sports department in 1980. He was a producer of Football Focus between 1982 and 1984 and was then senior editor of the BBC's coverage of the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, having also worked as an editor on Match of the Day.
Aside from football, Barwick was also responsible for the BBC's broadcasting of several other sporting events including the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and the European and World Athletics Championships. In 1995 he became head of production at the BBC and then head of television sport.
In February 1998, Barwick moved to ITV and became controller of sport. At ITV he was responsible for several high profile sporting events such as the 1998 World Cup, which saw the channels highest ever audience of 23.8m viewers for the match between England and Argentina, and the 2002 World Cup, and the 2000 and 2004 European Championships.
Barwick also negotiated rights for ITV to televise sporting events, including: the Champions League, the Rugby World Cup, Formula One, The Boat Race, the Super Bowl and the Tour de France, and retained Premier League broadcasting rights from the BBC. He was also responsible for creating the ITV2 channel, and bringing Des Lynam and Gabby Logan to ITV as presenters. He did, however, receive criticism over ITV's production of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He also fired commentator Ron Atkinson after Atkinson made a racist remark about then-Chelsea player Marcel Desailly in 2004.
In November 2004, Barwick was named as the chief executive of the Football Association and began the role in January 2005. He had worked with the FA before joining as the chief executive, negotiating a number of TV rights deals for both the BBC and ITV. Barwick played a key role in appointing Steve McClaren as England's new manager in 2006, and was later criticised as England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship.
Since then, Barwick has stated that the completion of the English National Football Centre, due to be opened in 2010, and the national teams (men and women) reaching the semi-finals of the next European Championships and World Cups are the FA's priorities. Before he managed to accomplish this, it was reported in August 2008 he would leave the FA at the end of the year.
University of Liverpool
- "Barwick named FA chief executive". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- "RFL appoints Brian Barwick as Chairman". Rugby Football League. 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
- "Barwick set for FA exit". Sky Sports. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Barwick tuned in for FA challenge". BBC. 2004-11-25. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Barwick named FA chief executive". BBC. 2004-11-25. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Lessons to be learnt for Brian Barwick". Daily Telegraph (London). 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "FA sets England semi-final target". BBC News. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
|ITV Controller of Sport