Brian Barwick

Brian Barwick
Brian Barwick.jpg
Brian Barwick

(1954-06-21) 21 June 1954 (age 65)
EducationQuarry Bank High School
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool
OccupationChairman of the RFL &
Super League Europe Ltd & National League (football).
Known forChief Executive of the F.A.,
Head of BBC Sport
Controller of ITV Sport

Brian Barwick (born 21 June 1954),[1] is an English sports administrator who currently serves as the Chairman of the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Super League Europe Ltd. He is also the Chairman of Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021).[2]

A former chief executive of The Football Association, he is now Chairman of football's National League and a FA Council member.

Brian has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in sports broadcasting and is recognised as a leading figure in the industry. He was a visiting professor in the management school of the University of Liverpool and chairman of the advisory board of the higher education establishment UCFB.[3] He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by Buckinghamshire New University and currently sits on the Management School Advisory Board at Liverpool Hope University.

He is the former head of BBC Sport and Editor of Match of the Day, and Controller of ITV Sport. He is a regular columnist in the Liverpool Echo and writes on sports broadcasting for the national media and has had three books on football and broadcast published.[4][5]


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.[6] 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,[6] and the 2002 World Cup, and the 2000 and 2004 European Championships. He also negotiated rights for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, which was won by England.

Barwick also negotiated rights for ITV to televise sporting events, including: 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.[6] He was also responsible for launching ITV2 and bringing Desmond Lynam and Gabby Logan to ITV.

The FA

In November 2004, Barwick was named as the chief executive of the Football Association and began the role in January 2005.[7] 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 – Sven Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren 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

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 sat on the Rugby League International Federation as England's representative. Barwick was also Chairman of the RFL's 2021 Rugby League World Cup bid and has subsequently been made the Chairman of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup Board.[8]

The National League

Barwick was appointed the new Chairman of football's National League (formerly the Football Conference) in June 2015 and is also a member of the FA Council.[9]

Other appointments

Barwick was appointed Chairman of the City of Liverpool's 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid in April 2017. Barwick was visiting professor of strategic leadership at the Management School of the University of Liverpool between January 2009 and June 2017. He has also been 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, and in August 2017 was made a member of the Liverpool Hope University's Business School's advisory board.


He has had three books published – "The Great Derbies - Everton v Liverpool" (with Gerald Sinstadt), an autobiography, "Anfield Days and Wembley Ways" and "Are You Watching the Match Tonight", a history of football on television.[5] He writes regularly in local and national media on sports broadcasting and life in general and has a column "Life of Brian" in the Liverpool Echo.

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. ^ "UCFB Ambassador Dr Brian Barwick on Future Career Opportunities". UCFB. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  4. ^ Barwick, Brian (18 February 2018). "Sunday Brunch with Brian Barwick: Mighty Mo Salah is a revelation". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Brian Barwick". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Barwick tuned in for FA challenge". BBC. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
  7. ^ "Barwick named FA chief executive". BBC. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Brian Barwick appointed chairman of RLWC2021 board | Love Rugby League". Love Rugby League. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2021". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
Media offices
Preceded by
ITV Controller of Sport
Succeeded by
Mark Sharman

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