FA Confidential, By David Davies
Sunday 09 August 2009
When he joined the Football Association in 1994 David Davies was astonished to find an organisation he memorably describes as "part museum, part asylum", housed in a Dickensian warren with a chief executive, Graham Kelly, who opened everyone's post.
He rose to executive director before leaving, with evident relief, in 2006.
His insider's account of the workings of the body supposed to be running English football veers from farce to tragedy as he struggled to firefight crisis after crisis, including locking himself in a toilet cubicle with Kevin Keegan as he tried to persuade the emotional English manager not to resign, and his PA Faria Alam's deeply wounding – and entirely false – accusations of sexual harassment.
Not short of a good opinion of himself, while honest enough to admit his failures, he is surely spot-on identifying the differing agendas of the FA, Premier League and Football League as a central problem for the English game.
Life at the FA seems to have been more sour than sweet but he is never slow to see the funny side.
Published in paperback by Simon & Schuster, £7.99
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories