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Football League's Andy Williamson awarded OBE

Tue 3rd Jan 2012 | Football Governance

The Football League's Chief Operating Officer, Andy Williamson has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

The award recognises Williamson's 40 years of unbroken service to the world's original league football competition after joining The Football League in 1971, at the age of 17. A passionate football man, Williamson is highly regarded for his firm but even-handed management of club issues and his commitment to fair competition.

On receiving the award, Andy Williamson OBE said: "It has been an incredible honour to serve The Football League for virtually the whole of my working life and I am extremely proud to have been awarded an OBE for services to the game I love.

"As ever, I am enormously grateful for the support and friendship I have received from all my current and former colleagues at The Football League, as well as all those at League clubs and from across the football world."

Football League Chairman, Greg Clarke said: "I am absolutely delighted that Andy's career has been acknowledged in this way. His hard work ensures that the league matches watched by hundreds of thousands of people every week are fair, competitive and meaningful.

"I am even more delighted that he tells me he has no plans to retire just yet."

Williamson has been personally involved in many of the game's defining moments including the introduction of three points for a win (1981), The League's first title sponsorship (1983) and the introduction of the Play-Offs (1986) - the finals of which moved to Wembley in 1990 at Williamson's personal instigation.

He has also provided sound leadership to The League and its clubs in challenging times, such as the Bradford fire (1985), the Hillsborough disaster (1989), the formation of the Premier League (1992) and the collapse of ITV Digital (2002). Following which Williamson, alongside then Chairman Lord Mawhinney, was the architect of the most comprehensive financial governance programme that domestic football had ever seen. It included the introduction of Sporting Sanctions (points deductions for clubs going into administration), the publication of club spending on agents' fees, football's first Fit and Proper Persons Test, limits on club expenditure on players' wages and sanctions for clubs that fail to meet their tax liabilities.

Williamson is also on the Board of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, which oversees refereeing in the domestic game. He also sits on the Professional Football Negotiation and Consultative Committee, the forum that agrees football's employment arrangements for players and is a Trustee of League Football Education, the organisation that oversees academic arrangements for apprentice footballers. He has also served the grassroots game for over 18 years.

Last summer, he was part of The Football League team that climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care, The League's Official Charity Partner for 2010/11. The week-long trek up the highest mountain in Africa alongside Football League fans and journalists helped to raise awareness of the charity and contribute to The League's £500,000 fundraising target.

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