5 days in the life of ... David Davies

The director of public affairs at the Football Association has Alan Shearer on his mind
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Indy Lifestyle Online
MONDAY: I'd just got back from La Baule, where the England team will be based during the World Cup. We'll have to accommodate a press conference or a big media event almost every day, and of course the trouble is we don't know how many days we're going to be there. There'll be up to 350 written press, and up to 35 camera crews, and you can't just stick them all in the middle of a field. So we're putting up marquees and using a local sports centre.

The Alan Shearer business had been bubbling around, and even though it was a Bank Holiday and I was supposed to be having a day off at my home in Birmingham, I must have taken or made 30 phone calls about it. I escaped in the evening. I'm a great cinema fan, and with my wife and daughters - Amanda, who's 18, and Caroline, who's 15 - we went out to see Sliding Doors. It's very cleverly made.

TUESDAY: I had a meeting with ITV at a hotel in Birmingham to discuss their World Cup schedule. The German singer taking part in last night's Eurovison Song Contest was at the next table. That was quite funny. Then to the FA headquarters in London and meetings about the Cup Final.

WEDNESDAY: I was getting calls from radio stations in the morning, wanting to know when the Shearer announcement would be made. With these things we tend just to release a statement to the Press Association and leave it at that. We were not exactly trying to lift the profile of the case. But I've been a journalist myself and in the real world you have to understand what you're dealing with. The phone never stopped ringing after that. I never complain about press coverage unless it's obviously malicious. But I've tried to stop the FA being regarded as an Aunt Sally, blamed for everything. We have to fight our corner.

THURSDAY: The FA has been running a competition for schools on the theme of ridding football of racism. It's a cause that means a lot to me, and this morning we had the finals at Wembley. Then to the Foreign Press Club. Glenn Hoddle could literally spend his entire life giving interviews if he agreed to every request, so I'd arranged for him to give a press conference to about 60 overseas journalists.

FRIDAY: Glenn hosted a golf day at Stoke Poges for editors and sports editors, which was very useful. I don't believe anyone in the press actually wants England to fail. My job is simply to make sure that Glenn is given every chance to succeed. And if that means protecting him and making myself unpopular then so be it. He's a very resilient person, but I think everyone knows that ultimately it comes down to results.

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