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World Cup Bid Cost Manchester £350,000

EXCLUSIVE: MP lambasts 'incompetent' FA and claims council should have paid nothing

Written by . Published on October 17th 2011.


World Cup Bid Cost Manchester £350,000

MANCHESTER City Council spent £350,000 on the failed bid to become a host city if England landed the 2018 World Cup, Confidential can reveal.

The total amount of money spent by the council on the World Cup bid was £135,570, along with a mandatory ‘marketing contribution’ of £250,000 to the Football Association, which was paid by all 12 contenders to be a host city.

"The FA couldn’t have submitted a credible bid without Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium. I think we should have been stronger."

But Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley, claims the city’s taxpayers shouldn’t have been forced to bear the cost of the bid and thinks the council should have taken a harder line with the FA.

“No local authority should have had to pay a penny towards that bid,” he said. “The bid was a pathetic money-making exercise for the most corrupt organisation on the planet.

“Manchester had an option - the FA couldn’t have submitted a credible bid without Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium. I think we should have been stronger with the FA. They needed us more than we needed them.

“Old Trafford is arguably the most famous club ground in the country and the Etihad Stadium has some of the best facilities in the country.”

Theatre of non-World Cup Dreams

Despite Old Trafford being one of the proposed venues, Trafford Council didn’t make any financial contribution to the bid- its neighbour city, Manchester, had to do all the spending.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “The council was supportive of the bid for the World Cup and our officers were involved in a number of the discussions but we were unable to make a financial contribution.”

Stringer said Trafford – and Salford – should have shared the cost with Manchester given the potential economic benefit to those boroughs.

“But ideally, no local authority should have paid,” he said. “The fact Manchester City Council had to pay at all was a total waste of money.

The cost of the FA’s failed bid was revealed as £21m last week, more than the £15m originally claimed.

The other cites competing to become a host city were Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London (3 stadiums), Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Plymouth, Sheffield, Milton Keynes and Sunderland.

Stringer said the FA’s bid was a ‘shambles’ and a needless drain on public finances.

“The FA is incompetent and inefficient,” he said. “It has a 150 year history of getting almost every major decision wrong. Manchester’s taxpayers have been dragged into that.”

Manchester City Council declined to comment.

Comment

Graham Stringer's comments about the FA aside it's very wrong that Trafford Council were 'unable to make a financial contribution'.

Maybe next time Manchester puts on the International Festival it should ask for a contribution from Trafford. There can be no doubt that many of the latter authority's residents enjoy the benefits of being neighbours with the larger city, not least during special events such as Manchester International Festival.

Perhaps Trafford MBC is so pre-occupied with keeping a low council tax that it can't see the wood for the trees. Perhaps when it comes to major events it should get involved in the Greater Manchester team a little more. 

Blazer with Manchester coat of armsUnited blazer with Manchester coat of armsUnless of course, the money that never went into the World Cup bid went into supporting the on-going general re-development of the Old Trafford area including the cricket ground.

Who knows? All that Trafford is telling us is that they were 'unable to make a financial contribution'.

Yet, isn't it a bit humiliating for Trafford that Manchester was paying for the promotion of an event on Trafford soil?

Trafford sometimes whinges that Manchester United wear a blazer sporting a coat of arms that doesn't pertain to the borough the club sits within. Given who paid for the World Cup bid locally, they can have few complaints.

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26 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Hero
Smyth Harper, Manchester City CouncilOctober 17th 2011.

Hang on a second. We didn't decline to comment, Simon. Who told you that?

Smyth Harper
Head of News
Manchester City Council

Hero
Smyth Harper, Manchester City CouncilOctober 17th 2011.

In fact, here is our comment:

Councillor Mike Amesbury executive member for culture and leisure said: "We make no apologies for being an ambitious city. And as a sporting city, with two internationally renowned football teams, and a strong track record of staging major national and international events, it was natural we would want to be involved in this global event, which,if successful would have brought enormous economic benefits to the city.

"Analysis shows that when Munich hosted games in the 2006 World Cup its economy benefited to the tune of more than £80 million and 12 years on we would have expected the benefits to be of a much greater magnitude."

Hero
Smyth Harper, Manchester City CouncilOctober 17th 2011.

I just logged up our comment, but it didn't appear. Here it is again...

In fact, here is our comment:

Councillor Mike Amesbury executive member for culture and leisure said: "We make no apologies for being an ambitious city. And as a sporting city, with two internationally renowned football teams, and a strong track record of staging major national and international events, it was natural we would want to be involved in this global event, which,if successful would have brought enormous economic benefits to the city.

"Analysis shows that when Munich hosted games in the 2006 World Cup its economy benefited to the tune of more than £80 million and 12 years on we would have expected the benefits to be of a much greater magnitude."

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 17th 2011.

Smyth you have a terrible stammer there. But thanks for putting us right

1 Response: Reply To This...
Ryan O'hanlonOctober 17th 2011.

it could be that your garbage website doesn't always post user's comments. It's just done it to me on another article.

Richard HJOctober 17th 2011.

Uncharacteristically Graham Stringer was available for comment.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 17th 2011.

Richard, give me an MP that will say it as he sees it and will have an opinion rather than a little grey mouse Member who won't say boo to a goose

AnonymousOctober 17th 2011.

Did stringer say a damn thing before the bid went tits up? its very easy to be the person always on hand to say I told you so.

Richard HJOctober 17th 2011.

Jonathan, I love you very dearly but the defensive nature of your reply is rather at odds with the point of ManCon 'rants', surely?

But since you have made the point I would argue that Mr Stringer's points are consistent in their predictability as they are in their inevitability.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 17th 2011.

My petard is hoisted

Richard HJOctober 17th 2011.

:-)

Trafford residentOctober 17th 2011.

Well it is typical Trafford isn't it? Why be surprised? They are a small minded borough run by little Captain Mainwarings.

CavanOctober 17th 2011.

Did you get Manchester city council pay for hoisting your petard?

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 17th 2011.

No I volunteered to do it myself. The Big Society and all that

Andy LoynesOctober 17th 2011.

Leaving aside your, er, amusing asides, isn't Stringer spot on with this one? If the World Cup bid had succeeded then areas outside of the city would clearly have benefited. It is indeed a bizarre set up when a single local authority is expected to pick up the bill, especially when a stadium key to the bid isn't even on its patch.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2011.

Trafford MBC are too busy wasting money on wasted IT Consultancy contracts and pointless re-organisations to beable to afford to dip into their pockets to fund something that may benefit the Greater Manchester community as a whole

TheoOctober 17th 2011.

"petard". From the French word peter, meaning to break wind.

Petardo bastardoOctober 17th 2011.

Vous cannot have tous, sacre anglais!

Do the Olympic thing well and then we might talk about the other stuff thereafter...

It's the city, duffusOctober 17th 2011.

To what amount did the position of - what shall we call it - 'lobbyist welfare' add up to?

This is a trendy political question, a swift response is not expected, but rather a detailed written report...

DrakeOctober 17th 2011.

Ah, now the reply function just makes comments disappear. Oh, perhaps its the browser I'm using. Not IE you know. Not that anyone will get to see this comment...

Simon BinnsOctober 17th 2011.

I can see it Drake. Don't feel sad.

AnonymousOctober 18th 2011.

What exactly is the point being made here? As far as I can see, Trafford is being blamed for very sensibly NOT contributing for something we knew we wouldn't get (as Graham Stringer says, the FA are corrupt). If Manchester has the cash to chuck around then fine. If we'd have got the bid it would have come to old Trafford anyway, so why pay up front??!

AnonymousOctober 18th 2011.

Sorry, to correct above:FIFA corrupt, FA useless!

Man of pointless opinionsOctober 19th 2011.

Chesney Hawkes was never any good at football

Man of pointless opinionsOctober 19th 2011.

Football was never kind to Chesney Hawkes

Mike AOctober 21st 2011.

I have the greatest of respect for Graham and we usually agree on most matters (including our support for United) but his opinion on this matter is wrong. For Manchester to somehow protest on the sidelines with regards to the established bidding process would have been unrealistic. Representations were made while inside the tent and I & M.C.C make no apologies for investing in what would have been the greatest festival of sport in the world.

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