Brian Barwick heads Liverpool bid for Commonwealth Games
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 06/02/18 10:45am
Former FA chief executive Brian Barwick will serve as the chairman of Liverpool's Commonwealth Games bid.
The Liverpool bid team are months away from discovering whether they will be considered as replacement hosts for the 2022 event, after original hosts Durban were stripped of the honour last month following budgetary concerns.
Barwick worked for the FA between 2005 and 2008, and the 62-year-old Liverpudlian is currently serving as the chairman of the Rugby Football League and the National League.
He will mastermind the city's bid for one of the forthcoming Games - either in 2022 or 2026 - with the opportunity to stage the event in five years' time now open following Durban's removal as host.
Three English cities - Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester - have expressed an interest in replacing the South African city.
But the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, is not expecting to learn of the Commonwealth Games Federation's (CGF) plans to reallocate the Games for another "three to four months".
Liverpool's initial plan was to bid to be 2026 hosts, but Durban's withdrawal has presented a chance to stage the Commonwealth Games even earlier, and Barwick is confident that, should the CGF determine an English city would be its preferred bidder, their application will be considered the most worthy.
"The bid's for 2026, but 2022's come onto the market," said Barwick.
"We'd be stupid not to really have a serious look at it. If we go for it, we'll get it. We're up for it.
"It's fantastic to have the opportunity to chair the bid. I was born, raised, educated in Liverpool. I've got an amazing fondness for the place and never lost my admiration or affection for it.
"Wherever I go, I try and be an ambassador for it. To lead this bid is perfect.
"I've worked on about four Commonwealth Games as a broadcaster so I understand the rhythm and the beat of the Commonwealth Games."
Anderson declared his intention last April to explore the possibility of Liverpool being 2026 hosts should he win re-election and the situation with Durban has led to that process possibly being sped up.
Asked when he expects to learn of the CGF's plans for the 2022 Games, he said: "We're going to have to wait probably three to four months.
"It's changed things dramatically in a sense that 2026 was where we were bidding, but Durban pulling out means that 2022 is available.
"We've got to get in now early and bid for 2022. It's over four years ahead and I'm confident that we will be able to pull that off."
Anderson also left open the possibility of his team working in conjunction with their Manchester counterparts on a joint north-west bid should the decision-makers decide that would be more appealing - though both cities have stated their preference would be to go alone.
"We're confident we can deliver a bid ourselves as Liverpool, but Manchester had a fantastic Commonwealth Games [in 2002] and it also has a huge velodrome and facilities there," Anderson added.
"It seems sensible to have a north-west bid, but Manchester will make that clear whether they are willing to work with Liverpool, and it's Manchester's leaders we'll be talking to.
"We've got a great relationship, I certainly think it's a good idea to work with Manchester, maybe to use their velodrome, and if the government think that's a good idea and they're willing to do that then I'm willing to listen."