Sports supremo waits for outcome of World Cup bid

The Coalition Government’s sports minister Hugh Robertson is determined to sort out what are generally agreed to be dysfunctional governance structures of the national game at the Football Association (FA).   However, he recognises that it would be best to wait for the outcome of England’s 2018 World Cup bid in December.

The Coalition Government’s sports minister Hugh Robertson is determined to sort out what are generally agreed to be dysfunctional governance structures of the national game at the Football Association (FA).   However, he recognises that it would be best to wait for the outcome of England’s 2018 World Cup bid in December.


Staging the World Cup at home territory might give the national side their best chance of progressing since 1966, but one shouldn’t hope for too much.   However, the bid appears to be going well and has a lot of credibility in terms of the available facilities.  But what are the economic pros and cons for a country likely to experience several years of austerity?


Staging the Olympics is going to cost a cash strapped country at least £9 billlion.  The World Cup would be much cheaper.   The Olympics has required the connstruction of expensive new facilities which will then face legacy issues.   The World Cup would be played in stadiums that have already been built or could be expanded with private funds. 


There would be security costs, of course.   And the councils in the 22 cities hoping to stage matches would have to provide free public transport.   Plymouth, should it be successful, puts the total cost tro the city at £15m, a lot of money when local authority budgets are limited.   Most of the expenses would come in 2017-19, but £250,000 has to be paid up front as a contribution to the FA’s marketing costs.


Nevertheless, local economies could receive a substantial boost from visitors, although should Milton Keynes be chosen one would imagines that fans would head straight back to London once they had found their way out of the road system (the stadium has real  potential, though).   The country’s GDP could be boosted by £3.2bn.   Even more significant would be the boost to morale – if England managed to progress.  And that’s a big if.

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