Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by the Football Association



  3.1  In the summer of 1996 The Football Association had begun to explore what would be involved in mounting a bid for the FIFA World Cup. Much had changed since The Association had hosted the World Cup in 1966 and the bidding for EURO '96 had not been anything like as intense as the World Cup process.

  3.2  Alec McGivan, who had been responsible for the media management of EURO '96, was asked to do some initial research and he produced a short paper in August of 1996. This paper identified some important issues concerning the likely timetable; the need to develop a clear case for support; the importance of a new national stadium; the need for a cultivation programme and the importance of Government support. The paper also took a first look at the likely list of competitors for 2006.

  3.3  This early piece of research encouraged The Football Association to pursue the matter further and by the December a more comprehensive sixty page progress report was produced. By this stage meetings had taken place with FIFA officials as well as representatives of France '98. Discussions were also held with those who had been involved in the successful USA and Japanese World Cup bids for 1994 and 2002. A range of individuals were consulted including some key international journalists. Initial discussions also occurred with Government.

  3.4  By June of 1997 a full Campaign plan had been developed by Alec McGivan and by one additional member of staff. The Campaign plan was presented to The FA Council and The FA Executive Committee and formed the basis of the Campaign that was to follow over the next three years. This Campaign document was an important milestone in the England's Bid's progress.

  It covered in detail the following headings:


  3.5  The plan identified two major objectives:

(i)to win for England the Bid to host the 2006 World Cup Tournament; and
(ii)to promote the reputation of English football and The Football Association world-wide.

Progress To Date

  3.6  The document referred to the publicity that had occurred following UEFA's intervention in January of 1997 and the subsequent launch of the Bid at No 10, Downing Street in the February. A clear Case for Support had been published; links had been established with the English and the UK Sports Councils, with Government and with British embassies around the world; a series of key domestic presentations about the Bid had occurred; the Bid identity and logo had been created as well as a Campaign video and a first brochure. Active contact with the media had also begun and there had been several initial receptions and exhibitions including one in Paris on the occasion of England's participation in the Tournoi de France (June 1997).


  3.7  In the first real look at the strategy which would need to be employed for the English Bid, the Campaign plan highlighted certain key elements, recommending that the Campaign should:

(i)Concentrate above all else on the 24 individual FIFA Executive Committee members;
(ii)Adopt a positive approach, emphasising England's excellent case for staging the tournament;
(iii)Monitor the opposition bids and assess their strengths and weaknesses;
(iv)Create a comprehensive communications programme with the international football community including the six confederations and the 2000 national associations and their representatives;
(v)Achieve a high profile overseas ensuring a presence for English football at all major congresses, conferences, exhibitions and other international football events;
(vi)Give considerable attention to the media both domestically and internationally;
(vii)Ensure that the Bid is on behalf of the whole country, not just football, with politicians at a national and local level behind it, as well as significant businessmen and major celebrities;
(viii)Ensure that the football family in England is kept informed of progress with the Bid and remains supportive of it;
(ix)Engage the interest and commitment of British business;
(x)Maximise use of the Government's world-wide network of British embassies;
(xi)Create key 2006 ambassadors to represent the Bid, particularly overseas;
(xii)Adopt a sophisticated approach to the gathering of key information and ensure its effective use in determining Campaign activities and strategy;
(xiii)Establish a consistent and clear message with all Bid ambassadors adhering to the same case for support;
(xiv)Produce a detailed and outstanding Bid Document; and
(xv)Create a unique theme for a World Cup in England to provide the English Bid with a competitive edge in the bidding process.

The Style of Campaign

  3.8  While winning the Bid was clearly the overriding priority, the Campaign Plan identified certain hallmarks desirable for the English Campaign which should be:

(i)highly professional;
(ii)well resourced with sufficient funding;
(iii)imaginative and original, carrying out Campaign activities with flair and originality and thereby making the English Campaign distinctive;
(v)a national Campaign;
(vi)receptive—involving wherever possible leading professionals wishing to help the English Bid in a voluntary capacity.

The Case for Support: The Six Reasons

  3.9  The Campaign Plan created a clear Case for Support which subsequently remained in place throughout the Campaign. It read as follows:

    1.  England is The Home of Football—the birthplace of the game. It is the place the fans want to visit. It is where international stars want to play. It is the perfect setting for football's greatest tournament—The World Cup.

    2.  EURO '96 was an outstanding success. We proved that we can stage a major international tournament. It was trouble free, well organised and had a great atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed it. Throughout the world it was recognised as the best European Championship ever.

    3.  England's grounds are now the finest in the world. Around £600 million has been spent in recent years to create a set of venues worthy of the World Cup. Not only are the facilities excellent, the grounds—Old Traford, Anfield, Villa Park and the rest—are world famous footballing shrines to millions of fans.

    4.  Wembley—the Venue of Legends—is about to be rebuilt at a cost of £200 million. The most famous venue in the world is about to become the finest modern football stadium in the world, fit for the 21st century and ready for the World Cup Final 2006. It is the venue where every great footballer wants to play.

    5.  The World Cup in England will take place in grounds that create a unique atmosphere. There are no fences. The crowd is close to the pitch and plays an important part in the game. The World Cup in England will not only be special, it will be unique.

  6.  England is a great place to visit. It is high on the list of international tourist destinations. London in particular is one of the most popular cities in the world.

The Bid Submission

  3.10  While the plan recognised the importance of Campaigning it also acknowledged that a highly impressive Bid Submission would be required by FIFA. The Campaign would need to respond to FIFA's Requirements (Appendix 2[5]). The planning for the Bid Submission would need to start early and should involve a series of key partners, notably the potential venue clubs, local authorities, and a number of Government departments.

Government Support

  3.11  It was recommended in the plan that the 2006 Campaign should be based upon partnerships. While The Football Association would spearhead the Campaign, the English Bid should be a partnership with business, the venue clubs and cities, national opinion informers and, most significant of all, Government. The backing and active support of the British Government was identified as vital with the Government not only involved but seen to be involved internationally. The active support of the Prime Minister and other key Government representatives, notably the Sports Minister, was essential.

  3.12  Key areas for potential Government involvement in the Bid were identified as follows:


    International networking via embassies and High Commissions;

    Support for a lottery application;

    The Bid Submission.

A Campaign and World Cup Theme

  3.13  It was recommended that a major competitive edge could be gained for the English Bid if a unique theme for England 2006 could be identified, likely to embrace ideas of football being a power for good within society and the importance of young people.

Plan of Action

  3.14  The Campaign plan identified the following Campaigning activities which now needed to be undertaken.

The FIFA Executive

  3.15  In order to begin the process of persuading the 24 individual FIFA Executive members, the Campaign needed to undertake:

    (i)  research on individuals;

    (ii)  devise a personalised communication strategy for each FIFA member;

    (iii)  begin to plan visits/meetings.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

  3.16  It was recognised that the FCO would be central to the Campaign's chances of networking around the world and having a direct influence on the FIFA Executive members. The plan of action would need to include:

    (i)  the cultivation by FCO missions of FIFA Executive members and other influential football decision makers;

    (ii)  assistance in mounting sustained publicity Campaigns in target countries;

    (iii)  the acquisition of information;

    (iv)  assistance with specific overseas events;

    (v)  the co-ordination of visits to target countries by 2006 ambassadors;

    (vi)  assistance with visits to England by influential football personalities.

The Ambassador Programme

  3.17  It was recognised that the Bid required a powerful set of high profile advocates and the work should begin to recruit these as soon as possible. Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, Geoff Hurst MBE and Gary Linekar OBE were all likely to become involved.

  3.18  These principal ambassadors and others drawn from football, business and public life would:

    (i)  promote England's Bid through face to face discussion particularly overseas;

    (ii)  assist in receiving guests requiring cultivation/lobbying;

    (iii)  assist in overseas visits;

    (iv)  provide support via quotes, pictures etc in Campaign material and in the media.

Corporate sponsors

  3.19  It was proposed that some direct corporate sponsorship of the Bid should be secured in order to give the Campaign added strength and credibility, a network of international contacts helpful in the lobbying process, some financial support (or help in kind) and the opportunity to strengthen the commitment of certain chairmen and chief executives as individuals. It was proposed to try and attract companies that had both a clear British and international reputation.


  3.20  It was recognised that a comprehensive promotional programme would be needed covering the following items:

    —  brochures, newsletters, Bid leaflets, videos, merchandise, briefing service, press service, articles, public information, Internet, mailing/distribution, presentations, translation, advertising, PR think tank.

Events and Exhibitions

  3.21  The Campaign would need to use events to promote the Bid and urgently to identify opportunities both at home and abroad.


  3.22  The Campaign needed to begin the compilation of a comprehensive database on world football which would need to be built up and utilised throughout the Campaign.

Plan of Action/Phases

  3.23  In order to plan the Campaign effectively, the plan divided the Campaign period into three phases.

    Phase 1  July 1997 to July 1998

    Phase 2  July 1998 to September 1999

    Phase 3  September 1999 to June 2000


  3.24  At this early stage in the Campaign the original plan proposed the following staff posts:

    Campaign Director;


    Planning and Research Manager;

    Ambassador/corporate friends/VIP visits co-ordinator + assistant;

    Sponsorship Manager;

    Press and Information Officer;

    Publications Officer;

    Assistant to the above two posts;

    Events/Exhibitions Officers; Database Manager;

    Technical Bid Manager;

    General administrative assistant;

    Foreign and Commonwealth co-ordinator (initially part-time).

  For each of the above a detailed job description was contained in the Campaign Plan.

  3.25  Naturally throughout the life of the Campaign the staff structure evolved. The final staffing arrangements adopted by the Campaign are contained in Appendix 4[6].


  3.26  The Campaign plan contained a proposed total budget for the 2006 Bid of £9,402,000.00. (See Appendix 3*.)

  3.27  It was recommended that this should be a fixed figure which the Campaign should work within. Over and above this, some limited additional funding from sponsors was also anticipated.

  3.28  The plan contained an estimate of expenditure for each phase of the Campaign under the following headings:

    —  staff;

    —  events/exhibitions;

    —  publications;

    —  travel and subsistence;

    —  ambassadors/VIPs;

    —  hospitality;

    —  mailings;

    —  office costs;

    —  advertising;

    —  consultants/agencies;

    —  technical bid;

    —  contingency.

  3.29  It was recognised, however, that at this early stage there would need to be flexibility within the overall total so that expenditure could switch from one category to another and if necessary from one phase to another.

  3.30  It was proposed to seek one third of the total budget from the lottery. This would be done via the English and UK sports councils from money specifically allocated to supporting English bids for major international sporting events.

  3.31  It was further proposed that The Football Association would guarantee the other two thirds of the budget with the likelihood of asking The FA Premier League for a one third contribution.

Decision Making

  3.32  The Campaign plan proposed the creation of a Campaign Executive Committee which would be responsible for the financial management of the Bid. The Committee would receive regular reports from the Campaign Director and Campaign staff and would need to have representatives of certain outside organisations such as the Department for National Heritage and those involved in funding the Campaign.

5   Not printed. Back

6   Not printed. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 27 March 2001