FA Confidential, By David Davies

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The Independent Culture

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