David Davies (football administrator)

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David Davies during a debate at the Nations & Regions Media Conference in 2012

David Davies OBE (born 1948) is a British broadcaster and international sports and media consultant, formerly the Executive Director of The Football Association. He is a regular contributor to BBC News programmes and contributes to broadcasting organisations across the world.

Since leaving The FA, he has worked as a consultant to football organisations in Europe, Africa, and Asia as well as in North and Central America and in the Caribbean. He has worked closely with international football organisations including FIFA, UEFA and CONCACAF to advise on administration, governance, relationships, communications and development programmes.

He has served as a senior advisor to leading figures in sport and public life including Dr Danny Jordaan, now President of the South Africa Football Association, formerly CEO of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Today he is a consultant to the Soccerex International Football Conferences organisation which annually holds events in several continents of the world. He is on the Council of the University of Birmingham.

Charity work[edit]

David’s commitment to “sport as a power for good” has taken him to war zones around the globe including Afghanistan where he helped to stage the “Game of Peace” in Kabul in 2003. He was a co founder of a [1] there later that year with colleagues from FIFA, Germany and Iran.

He is a serving Board member of International Inspiration,[2] a charity that promotes access to sport, play, and physical exercise for low and middle income families with children around the world. It is the first international development legacy initiative linked to an Olympic and Paralympic Games.[3] International Inspiration's Board Members include Olympic Gold Medal rower, Katherine Grainger, former UK Government Minister, Andrew Mitchell and Sebastian Coe .

He was a founding member of football’s anti racism “Kick It Out” campaign in England,[4] and part of the initial sports steering group for the NSPCC.

In 2014, he became a trustee for CAFE, which campaigns across Europe for disability awareness, and the best access to sport for disabled people.

Football Association Years, 1994-2006[edit]

David Davies served in a variety of senior roles at The FA in England until his retirement in 2006. They included Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Head of Football Affairs, Director of International Strategy and Executive Director. He worked extensively in the preparation of the European Football Championships in England in 1996.

Internationally, he served for eight years on the IFAB, which agrees any changes to the laws of football around the world and was one of the earliest advocates of goalline technology

During some of the most turbulent years in The FA’s history, he was described as “arguably the most powerful administrator in the English game”[5] in 1999 when he was acting Chief Executive and Director of Public Affairs. He became widely known as The FA’s “chief spin doctor”[6] for his crisis management of England team managers, while still upholding a healthy relationship with most parts of the media. He worked especially closely with managers Terry Venable, Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Sven Goran Eriksson. It was in 2008, two years after leaving The FA, that his book “FA Confidential”[7] was published. Controversially he had also co-authored “Glenn Hoddle’s World Cup Diary” in 1998.

BBC Years, 1971-1994[edit]

David began his journalistic career briefly in Belfast before joining BBC Wales as a reporter in 1971. He was a BBC News Trainee with the late Brian Hanrahan (later famous for his coverage of the Falklands War) before joining BBC TV in Manchester in 1973. From there he worked on some of the Corporation's biggest shows including Nationwide, Newsnight, Songs of Praise and Children in Need.

From 1983 his portfolio grew as he presented the BBC News and the Today radio programme on Radio 4. He was a Political Correspondent, 1983-1986, and Education Correspondent, 1986-1989.

From 1989-1994, he served as a correspondent and occasional presenter of the BBC’s biggest sports programmes, Match of the Day and Grandstand. It was during this period one Saturday night that he is widely believed to have coined the phrase on the Saturday night news preceding Match of the Day “If you don’t want to know the score, look away now”[8]

He covered every General Election and Local Election night broadcast between 1974 and 1994, also every World Cup and European Football Championship from 1986 to 1994 —almost certainly the only journalist to have done both.

Government work[edit]

Davies has combined his career in sport and international relations to work alongside the UK Government.

He served as a Partner for the joint UK Government /Iraqi Government/Football Association ‘Iraq United’ Development programme from 2004 – 2006; Member of the UK Government Task Force on Football from 1997 – 2000; Chair of the UK Government Free to Air/Listed Events Panel in 2009 and Member of the UK Government Business/ Culture/ Sport delegation to China with Rt. Hon Tony Blair MP in 2005.

Davies also worked with the British Olympic Association as a Member of the National Council for the London 2012 Games bid.

Personal life[edit]

In 2006 Davies was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to sport. He is also a Royal Television Society Member and Council Member for the University of Birmingham.

He lives in the West Midlands of England near Birmingham with his wife Susan, and has two daughters, Amanda and Caroline, and one grand daughter, Molly. Amanda Davies is a sports correspondent and presenter for CNN International.

Davies is a qualified teacher and holds a Certificate of Education from the University of Oxford and a BA(Econ) in Politics from the University of Sheffield.

Hong Kong Football Association reform[edit]

Davies was a senior consultant for change agents, the Scott Wilson Group, who were appointed in September 2010 by the Hong Kong FA to lead the reform and restructuring of football in Hong Kong.[9]


External links[edit]