Adrian Bevington - Former Managing Director, Club England Share PDF Print E-mail
Profile of the week

BernsteinVillaAdrian Bevington was the former head of communications at the Football Association, before going on to become managing director of Club England from 2010 to 2014.

Since then he's worked the Welsh FA, Nottingham Forrest and Aston Villa.

iSportconnect caught up with Adrian at the World Football Forum in Paris

iSC - Thanks for joining us Adrian. What have you been up to lately?

AB - "I've been working with the Welsh FA, amongst others, for the past year or so, which has been a fantastic project with the success and the impact they have made during Euro 2016. I've been working as a project advisor to the FAW on their operational planning, looking at the media centre, the training ground, the base camp hotel, all the flight and travel operations, and just general tournament experience I could bring to the operation."

"They've been fantastic people to work with, I've been very impressed with them. Chris Coleman has been a star leading from the front, and it's been great working with Jonathan Ford the CEO."

iSC - But you've also been busy at a couple of clubs as well, most notably Aston Villa

AB-  "Yes, I've been working with a number of other clubs, some publicly known, others behind the scenes. People are aware that I worked with Aston Villa for a few months, just before the sale, helping David Bernstein, Mervyn King and Steve Hollis.

"Prior to that I spent some time working with Nottingham Forrest, advising the owner there for a significant part of last season. We managed to get them out of the transfer embargo they were under. I've also been providing communications advice to a number of organisations in the sporting environment."

iSC - What a time to work with Wales! You must be pleased for the team.

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AB - It's been an incredible journey that they have been on. To have been a part of it, I joined over a year ago as a consultant/advisor, to see the plans come to fruition the way they have is wonderful. The dedicated work, the attention to detail, the fact that they have invested to give the platform to the players to christen the squad, to achieve what they did on the pitch, is a really credit and testimony to everyone involved at the FAW. It's been a real delight to be around.

iSC - Tell us a bit more about your role with Aston Villa.

AB - "I was only at Villa briefly, but I was very pleased to see the club sold. In Keith Wyness as the chief executive, you have a very experienced individual at the helm of the club, who I am sure will provide very good advice to the ownership from China. Likewise you have an experienced manager in Roberto Di Matteo, who's achieved success with Chelsea, but also with West Brom and MK Dons."

"He's also spent time in Germany, he's very experienced. I'd love to see Villa competing at the high end of the Championship, with a view to getting promoted next season."

iSC - The new Premier League TV deal starts this season. What piece of advice would you give to clubs who have seen their budgest go up?

AB - "I think it's that you invest wisely. One of the big challenges facing clubs is - 'What is the best use of that money now?' - Recruitment is king. We've seen clubs like Leicester achieve so much success with a very strong recruitment policy, with the likes of Steve Walsh there, who was there with Nigel Pearson."

"Additionally Southampton have an excellent recruitment policy. They make a lot of sales, but seem to replace a lot of players very quickly. So I think [my advice] is get your recruitment model right and get your football decisions correct. The commercial side of the club will spin off from that anyway - success will breed success from that if you get it right."

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