If I had to start again: David Davies

... I'd align myself privately and publicly with someone of a business background. I realised that too late. My first big decision was to turn down £920-a-year in teaching for £902 at the Belfast Telegraph - which perhaps supports the view that my business background was insufficient for running the FA. I quickly went from papers to the BBC, and had 22 unbelievable years there. I even presented Songs of Praise.

I've been a football fan for more than 50 years. In 1993, the FA offered me the role of director of public affairs. My football friends said I wouldn't put up with it longer than three months. I left 12 years later, having become executive director, and had several spells as chief exec.

The highlight was simple: winning matches - from the 5-1 victory over Germany to beating Argentina in the 2002 World Cup. At those moments, I wouldn't have been anywhere else on the planet.

I call football the world soap opera, and perhaps appeared in too many episodes. Take the employment tribunal between the FA and my former PA Faria Alam - she tacked on last-minute allegations of sexual harassment against me, and that ghastly period lasted 11 months.

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