Brian Barwick

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Brian Barwick (born 21 June 1954),[1] is an English sports administrator who serves as the Chairman of the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Super League Europe Ltd and is a Board member of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF). [2] He is also Chairman of football’s National League and a member of the FA Council.

He is a visiting professor in the management school of the University of Liverpool and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the higher education establishment UCFB. He was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Buckinghamshire New University.

He is the former head of BBC Sport and Controller of ITV Sport and was the Chief Executive of the Football Association between 2005 and 2008. He is a regular columnist in the Liverpool Echo and writes on sports broadcasting for the national media and is a published author.


Barwick was educated at Quarry Bank High School and then gained a degree in economics at Liverpool University.



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 1979. He was a producer of Football Focus (1982-1984) and editor of Match of the Day (1988-1995). He was senior editor of the BBC's coverage of the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

Aside from football, Barwick was also the senior editor 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. He was also the editor of Sports Review of the Year (1991-1995). In 1995 he became BBC’s Head of Sport (Production).


In February 1998, Barwick moved to ITV and became controller of sport.[3] At ITV he was responsible for several high profile sporting events such as the 1998 World Cup, which saw the channel's highest ever audience of 23.8m viewers for the match between England and Argentina,[3] 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 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup, Formula One, The Boat Race, the Super Bowl and the Tour de France, and won the Premier League highlights rights from the BBC from 2001-2004.[3] He was also responsible for launching ITV2 and bringing Des Lynam and Gabby Logan to ITV.

The FA[edit]

In November 2004, Barwick was named as the chief executive of the Football Association and began the role in January 2005.[4] 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 worked with three England managers during his time at the FA - Steve McClaren, Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello.

Barwick also oversaw the completion of the new Wembley Stadium and launched the FA's Respect Campaign. He stepped down from his role in August 2008 and left the organisation at the end of that year.

Rugby League[edit]

After launching his own sport and media consultancy, Barwick was approached to become the new Chairman of the Rugby Football League in January 2013. He also took up the post as Chairman of the sport’s Super League Europe. He also sits on the Rugby League International Federation as England’s representative.

The National League[edit]

Barwick was appointed the new Chairman of football’s National League (formerly the Football Conference) in June 2015 and was also made a member of the FA Council.

Other Appointments[edit]

Barwick was made a visiting professor of Strategic Leadership at the Management School of the University of Liverpool in January 2009 and subsequently was made Chairman of the Advisory Board of UCFB – a higher education establishment working in football business industries. He was made an honorary doctorate by Buckinghamshire New University in September 2015 in recognition of his career in broadcasting and sport.

He has had two books published – an autobiography, “Anfield Days and Wembley Ways” and “Are You Watching the Match Tonight”, a history of football on television. He writes regularly in local and national media in sports broadcasting. His interests include British comedy, swimming and popular music.


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2014. Mr Brian Barwick, Chief Executive, Football Association, 2005–08, 59 
  2. ^ "RFL appoints Brian Barwick as Chairman". Rugby Football League. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Barwick tuned in for FA challenge". BBC. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 1 December 2007. 
  4. ^ "Barwick named FA chief executive". BBC. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 1 December 2007. 
Media offices
Preceded by
ITV Controller of Sport
Succeeded by
Mark Sharman