Liverpool Council image... Commonwealth Team pic.. Images by Gareth Jones

Brian Barwick to lead Team Liverpool’s Commonwealth Games bid

Heading up the Commonwealth Games bid team

Sports executive Brian Barwick is to Chair Liverpool’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games.

The 62 year old Liverpudlian – who is Chair of the Rugby Football League (RFL), Super League Europe Ltd, the National League and a member of the FA Council – will spearhead the city’s drive to secure the event in 2026, or 2022 should the UK host the Commonwealth Games following Durban’s recent withdrawal.

The former head of BBC Sport, controller of ITV Sport and Chief Executive of the Football Association will lead ‘Team Liverpool’ – a group of world-leading experts with an unparalleled track record in successfully bidding for major sporting events, including the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and the FIFA World Cup.

Brian Barwick said: “Having worked in and around sport most of my adult life, the chance to lead the work for my home city of Liverpool to host the Commonwealth Games is a huge privilege. I am delighted to be involved in this project and clear that Liverpool, with such an illustrious sports history, will make the perfect host city for the Commonwealth Games.

“I have already spent some time with the team and am very impressed with their enthusiasm and expertise.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I am delighted that Brian Barwick has accepted my invitation to Chair the city’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games. He brings a wealth of experience both as a leader of some of the biggest sports organisations in the country and a successful career at the highest level in TV sport.

“Brian’s appointment, alongside a number of other highly respected advisors, sends out a powerful message that we are deadly serious about bidding for the games. We already have a first class reputation in putting on major events during and since our time as European Capital of Culture in 2008.  I firmly believe we have the passion, belief and the ability to win and deliver a Commonwealth Games that can make the whole country and the Commonwealth proud.

“The Commonwealth Games has the potential to be a game changer in further driving forward the city’s regeneration and renaissance, reflecting our growing confidence and attracting jobs, investment and profile that money simply can’t buy, putting us on the world map.

“The team of advisers now working with us is world class and over the coming months our priority is to put in place a compelling bid that will resonate with the Government, Commonwealth Games England and, ultimately, the Commonwealth Games Federation. These are exciting times for our city.”

Working with Brian and the Mayor will be one of the most prominent and respected women in sport Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale who is a Director at Everton Football Club and an Executive Chair of Everton in the Community. Denise will be taking on the role of Deputy Chair of Liverpool’s bid.

Professor Barrett-Baxendale, said: “Liverpool has proven itself time and again as a natural home for world class events. I am incredibly proud to be part of Team Liverpool, working on a Commonwealth Games bid that will engage and excite the community in sporting activity.”

The advisors who will be working on the bid are:

Strategic Advisors & Project Managers

4 global Consulting has acted as strategic advisors to Liverpool to date, helping the City understand the expectations of the Commonwealth Games Federation by developing a road map of work to be undertaken to enable delivery of a strong and credible bid. 4global senior team members have worked extensively in the major events arena for over 25 years and have a long and successful track record of advising clients and coordinating the work of multi-disciplinary feasibility and bidding teams for Commonwealth, Olympic & Paralympic Games; Youth Olympics; European Games and Football, Cricket and Rugby World Cups.

 Technical Feasibility

Wilson Owens Owens (WOO) led the design of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games from the initial bid masterplan proposals through to the final hour of the closing ceremony. They have recently completed the event design and planning for the Rugby World Cup in 2015, and lead the design for both the Rome 2024 Olympic Bid, and the Boston 2024 USOC Bid. They are a unique firm that offers both innovated architectural design and event planning, backed by unrivalled experience in the global event industry.

Financial Feasibility and Economic Impact Assessment

Deloitte LLP who worked on the bid and delivery of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and have supported a number of other major sporting events, including Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and Liverpool’s campaign to be a host city for the 2018 World Cup bid.

PR and Communications

Vero Communications headed by a team who were part of the successful London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games bid, and have subsequently worked on successful bids for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Seb Coe’s campaign to become IAAF President, Gianni Infantino’s campaign to become FIFA President, Fenway Sports takeover of Liverpool FC in 2010 and the current bid by Paris to secure the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Bid Brand

With a focus on international sports and the major event sectors, the Brand Oath team have delivered design and branding solutions to various global cities bidding to host major events such as London 2012 Olympics and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. In addition to their bid projects they also work with a number of national and international governing bodies such as Scottish Rugby, British Rowing and Azerbaijan Football Association.


An intense 3-6 month period of activity will now get underway to put together the strongest possible case for Liverpool to be the host city, looking at venues for sports events such as ACC Liverpool and the proposed new Everton FC stadium at Bramley Moore against the technical requirements set by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Local sporting stars including heptathlon Katarina Johnson-Thompson, boxer Tony Bellew, gymnast Beth Tweddle and footballer Jamie Carragher have already backed Liverpool’s bid.

A budget of up to £500,000 has been set aside for Liverpool’s bid.  If successful, Liverpool would follow Glasgow -the most recent UK city to host the Games in 2014 – which estimated the event brought in £100 million to the city’s economy.

What they say:

“The CGF’s Strategic Plan entitled ‘Transformation 2022’ sets out its guiding principles for both the Commonwealth Movement and the Games and confirms its ‘strong commitment to and respect of human rights, environment and sustainability, health, safety and wellbeing as well as accessibility and inclusivity’. These values align closely with Liverpool’s vision for an inclusive Games that will embrace and involve every community via an innovative and inspirational event.”

Peter Mann, Partner 4 global
“Having worked all around the world on similar projects, I am so proud and excited to help the city I grew up in, win the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Games.”

Bernie Shaw-Binns, Brand Oath Founder and Creative Strategy Director

“It is fantastic to be part of the team to bring the Commonwealth Games to Liverpool. We are passionate to celebrate the very best of Liverpool and deliver the best ever Commonwealth Games for the city and its people. It is an opportunity we are proud to be part of and we are determined to play our part in the strongest Liverpool bid.As a Liverpudlian, this appointment is extra special for me, when it’s your home town it really counts, and it carries that extra bit of magic.”

Kevin Owens, Director of Wilson Owens Owens
“We are thrilled to be working with the city in its bid to host the Commonwealth Games and looking forward to helping it create a compelling case to bring the event to Liverpool. The city is fast becoming a major player in staging sports and other events and its ambition to host the Commonwealth Games is a logical next step.”

John Zerafa, VERO Director
“We are delighted to be part of Team Liverpool’s Commonwealth Games bid and will bring to bear our expertise in major events and the business of sport.  Our team, led by Neil Wood, former CFO of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, has a deep understanding of the finances of delivering major sporting events and the positive economic impact that can result.  We were committed partners for London’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and are enthusiastic about the benefits that can be delivered to Liverpool and the wider region from a successful bid for, and delivery of, the Commonwealth Games.”

Sean Beech, head of Deloitte’s Liverpool office



4 global Consulting

4 global Consulting is a major event consultancy that provides a full spectrum of advice to its clients worldwide on the feasibility, bidding, legacy, planning and delivery of major sporting events. Rio 2016 marked the company’s ninth consecutive Olympic & Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000 during which time its advisors have helped design, develop and deliver games-wide operations readiness programmes.

4global’s team for Liverpool’s 2022 bid is led by Peter Mann who, together with senior colleagues has been at the forefront of detailed event feasibility, legacy planning and successful bids for well over two decades. The Company recognises that the world of major events is changing and that cities have a bigger responsibility than ever before of ensuring their bid is socially and ethically responsible; has real and sustainable legacy at its heart and when awarded the right to host the event, delivers on all the commitments made in the bid.



WilsonOwensOwens was created by Derek Wilson and Kevin Owens, following the completion of their combined role, in leading the design at London 2012. Their collective role with London 2012 started with the earliest bid work, through to the final completion and staging of the games. WOO bring over 25 years of design experience ranging from major stadia such as the Perth new Stadium to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, from the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles to the award winning London 2012 Olympics.

They are a team that is passionate about design and creating experience. With a foundation not just in events, their collective work is broad and diverse including major urban masterplanning, cultural buildings, transport hubs and infrastructure, and importantly community-based projects.

The team for Liverpool includes the expertise of RLB cost consultants and Allan Gooch Associates for transport planning. Together they have worked on a wide range of events including London 2012, Glasgow 2014, Rugby World Cup 2015, and various successful Games bids.

It is a team that is passionate about sport and design – always striving to deliver the very best solution for both athlete and spectator. They believe that all their work should be grounded within its context and city, blending the very best of a host city and community with the excitement and passion of elite sporting achievements.


VERO is a strategic communications consultancy working in the business of sport advising International Federations on their corporate reputation, cities and countries bidding to host major sports events, leading decision makers seeking positions in world sport, as well as major sports clubs.

Brand Oath

Brand Oath believes in the power of sport as a force for good in society, and in the power of branding to inspire people to positive change. They have gained a reputation for excellence delivering strategic brand and design solutions in the sports and major events sectors. It’s a competitive world. Prepare to win with Brand @Brandoath

Deloitte LLP

Deloitte LLP is among the country’s leading professional services firms. Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press. For more information, please visit  Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Picture of Liverpool’s Commonwealth Games bid team attached. L-R Mike Kearney (Liverpool City Council’s Head of Sport), Kate Cullen (WilsonOwensOwens) Kevin Owens (WilsonOwensOwens), Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, John Zerafa (Vero), Clair Ashley (Vero), Mayor Joe Anderson, Ron Odunaiya (Director of Community Services), Brian Barwick, Neil Wood (Deloitte LLP), John Moore (strategic technical advisor), Peter Mann (4Global), Bernie Shaw-Binns (Brand Oath)


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