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 consultant, formerly the executive director of the Football Association. He is a regular contributor to BBC News programmes and other networks. Plus breakfast in Windsor Since leaving The FA, he has worked as a consultant to football organisations in various countries. Today he is a consultant to the Soccerex international football conferences organisation.

BBC Years, 1971-1994[edit]

Davies began his journalistic career briefly in Belfast before joining BBC Wales as a reporter in 1971. He was a BBC news trainee alongside Brian Hanrahan 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 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 presented BBC Midlands Today and 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 said 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.”[1]

He covered every general election and local election night broadcast between 1974 and 1994, as well as every World Cup and European Football Championship from 1986 to 1994.

Football Association Years, 1994-2006[edit]

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 turbulent years at the FA, he was described as “arguably the most powerful administrator in the English game”[2] in 1999 when he was acting chief executive and director of public affairs. He became widely known as The FA’s “chief spin doctor”[3] for his crisis management of England team managers. He worked especially closely with managers Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Sven-Göran Eriksson. In 2008, two years after leaving the FA, his book “FA Confidential”[4] was published. Controversially he had also co-authored “Glenn Hoddle’s World Cup Diary” in 1998.

Other work[edit]

He served as a partner for the Iraq United Development programme from 2004-2006, was a member of the UK government task force on football from 1997-2000, was chair of the UK government free to air/listed events panel in 2009 and member of the UK government business, culture and sport delegation to China in 2005. Davies also worked with the British Olympic Association as a member of the national council for the London 2012 Games bid. He was a senior consultant for change agents, the Scott Wilson Group, which was appointed in September 2010 by the Hong Kong FA to lead the reform and restructuring of football there.[5]

Charity work[edit]

Davies helped to stage the Game of Peace in Kabul in 2003. He is a board member of International Inspiration,[6] a charity which promotes access to sport, play, and physical exercise for low and middle income families with children around the world. He was a founding member of football’s anti-racism Kick It Out campaign in England,[7] 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.

Personal life[edit]

In 2006 Davies was awarded an OBE for services to sport. He is also a Royal Television Society Member and council member at 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 granddaughter, 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.


External links[edit]