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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 22:42 GMT
Barwick tuned in for FA challenge
Brian Barwick
Brian Barwick brings knowledge gleaned from a long career in sports broadcasting into his new role as the Football Association's chief executive.

The 50-year-old spent 18 years with the BBC, rising through the ranks to become head of TV sport before joining ITV as controller of sport in 1998.

Barwick has worked with the FA before while negotiating a number of TV rights deals for both channels.

Highly-respected in his field, he has a number of key contacts within football.

Barwick is also well-known for having a powerful personality and a reputation for having a no-nonsense approach to his work.

1980: Joins BBC from local newspaper
1995: Promoted to head of production at BBC
1996: Appointed head of television sport
1998: Moves to ITV after 18 years at BBC
2002: Renews Champions League contract for ITV
2003: Oversees broadcast of Rugby World Cuip
2004: Becomes chief executive of the Football Association

He sacked ITV's star summariser Ron Atkinson earlier this year after the pundit made racist comments about Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly.

A passionate football fan, Liverpool-born Barwick was senior editor of the BBC's 1990 and 1994 World Cup coverage and producer of Football Focus between 1982 and 1984.

He left BBC Sport to become head of production at the corporation in 1995, and during his time at ITV he oversaw the channel's biggest-ever audience of 23.8m viewers for the match between England and Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.

He revamped ITV's sport coverage as well as maintaining the channel's high-profile events, such as the Champions League rights - the renewal of which he successfully negotiated.

He also withstood competition from the BBC to regain the rights to show Premiership highlights.

But it was not all success for Barwick, who saw ITV come under heavy criticism for its production of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, something which he resented.

Barwick has no experience of running a sport's governing body but his successful negotiating and management within the sporting media will stand him in good stead.

However, the job of running the English FA has proven too tough for many, and Barwick will need all his diplomatic skills to succeed in one of the toughest posts in football.

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