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The Sport Liverpool Board has been set up with the aim of developing a 10-year plan to ensure the city is in a good position to make successful bids for major international sports events.

The independent board of senior executives is chaired by Brian Barwick OBE – the former controller of ITV Sport, chair of the Rugby Football League and Football Association CEO.

The board said it will agree long-term plans on legacy, post-Covid strategy and advise on major events that Liverpool should bid for. It will also look to maximise opportunities from the upcoming Rugby League World Cup in October and the 2022 World Gymnastics Championships, which will feature Merseyside venues Anfield (cap. 53,000) and ACC Liverpool (1350 cap.). The 2022 championships will also be a qualifying event for the 2024 Olympics and is set to generate £5m for the city.

Barwick said, “I am delighted at the calibre of the people that we have been able to put together on the board – it speaks volumes for Liverpool’s track record in putting on world-class spectacles.

“We’ve got amazing venues, an incredible location as the backdrop and an audience who are passionate about attending events.

“As a total package, it’s pretty unbeatable and we’re determined to crack on and secure and deliver memorable events whose legacy will live on long after the athletes and spectators have returned home.”

Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool’s acting mayor, said, “This is about bringing a wealth of expertise around the table, all pulling in one direction to ensure we have a continuity of purpose and direction. It’s never been more vital for us to work together to show what Liverpool is capable of.”

The independent board members:

  • Clare Briegal, CEO, International Netball Federation
  • Eamonn McManus, chairman, St Helens Rugby Football Club
  • Professor Philip Wilson, group chief executive (Academic), Global University Systems
  • Charlotte O’Neill, head of operations and development (Academy), Manchester City Football Club
  • Steve Stuart, S. Stuart & Co
  • Tim Banfield, director, TAB Live Consulting