FA panel didn't call 'troubling' Barnard over Terry evidence
21:58 GMT, 8 October 2012
The John Terry commission report was so critical of ‘materially defective’ evidence from Chelsea secretary Dave Barnard that his FA Council future has since been the talk of ‘aghast’ councillors.
However, it has emerged the popular Barnard, regarded as one of football’s good guys during 35 years as an administrator, may have been unfairly portrayed in the FA’s written findings.
Certainly Chelsea, who are waiting until the appeal process is decided before commenting in detail, are fully supportive of Barnard, whose role was as a go-between for the FA and club rather than having direct influence on the case.
'Troubling': David Barnard (below right) was not called by the commission report
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Strangely, he was castigated despite not having had the opportunity to defend the contents of his ‘troubling’ witness statement in person. He had returned early from a World Club Cup FIFA meeting in Zurich for the hearing but was not called to give oral evidence.
Commission chairman Craig Moore QC wrote that he had ‘very real concerns about the accuracy of Mr Barnard’s recollections’.
Yet it was Barnard’s witness statement from September 13 that informed the FA their official Adam Sanhaie had taken handwritten notes during Ashley Cole’s interview at Chelsea’s training ground on October 28 last year.
Sanhaie’s report was not included in the FA’s disclosure of relevant documents. His senior colleague Jenni Kennedy, FA’s head of off-field regulation, did not recall clearly whether Sanhaie had taken notes along with her of the Cole interview, which was not tape recorded.
The Sanhaie evidence ‘only came to light just before the hearing’ according to the commission. A Chelsea spokesman said: ‘David co-operated fully with the FA at all times, stands by his evidence and does not accept the criticism that has been made.’
FA prepare for Burton snub
The FA have invited all their 115 councillors to the official opening of St George’s Park on Tuesday by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But less than half are likely to turn up in Burton because they will have to pay their own travel expenses and will not receive an attendance allowance.
Pardew strikes it rich
Barry Nevill, one of the most understated of football agents, was responsible for negotiating the extraordinary contract with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley granting manager Alan Pardew and his backroom staff eight-year deals with no break clauses.
In the money: Pardew signed a new eight-year deal at Newcastle last month
No wonder Charlton manager Chris Powell, who has never previously employed an agent throughout his career, has chosen to be represented by Nevill.
Meanwhile, in contrast to the stability Newcastle seek under Pardew, short-term loan company Wonga are expected to become their new shirt sponsors.
Top flight clubs owed
Software company Worldlink Sports, who are the subject of a winding-up petition, have betting partnership deals running with Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham but lack the finances to fund them.
Also owed money are Stephen Pearson, the former Premier League commercial director who set up the club agreements, and Rio Ferdinand’s publicists.
Football’s united front
The Premier League and Football League, who act independently on most issues, are working together over England Rugby 2015’s use of their grounds for the World Cup.
Shock contender: Leicester City's King Power Stadium is on a long list of 17 potential World Cup venues
Both bodies are adamant that football will take priority in their match scheduling, which won’t be finalised until June 2015 – three months before the start of the Rugby World Cup.
However, recent meetings have included the leagues’ fixture organisers and World Cup officials are confident dates can be arranged next year, although there are ‘no guarantees’ from football.
Umbro in trouble
Umbro will still have some branding presence at St George’s Park for Tuesday’s royal opening despite being discarded by parent company Nike, who have taken over the England shirt deal and their sponsorship of the National Football Centre.
Once-proud Umbro look like being snapped up by Iconix Brands, who specialise in buying ailing businesses. Iconix are expected to lease the Umbro name to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.