WHO WILL SUPPORT US EVERMORE?
The EURO2008 decision has been made and the SFA are going to make the best of it and work with Ireland to get a solid bid together. The Scottish executive know that £70-£100 million will still be required as Scotland's contribution to the costs of putting on the tournament. The Football Association of Ireland have still to get the nod from their Government for financial support. They will need it as Lansdowne Road it generally held to need a great deal of work to get to the standard required for the tournament. The other ground expected to be delivered by Ireland could either be Croke Park the home of gaelic football or the unbuilt Stadium Ireland. Croke Park will also require upgrading and the Gaelic Football Association will have to be persuaded to change the habits of a lifetime and allow another sport to be played on their hallowed turf.
The idea of a solo bid had received backing from UEFA officials and from Whitehall. There was also the offer from UK Sport of hard cash (£325,000). Now that the bid will be a joint effort and require the agreement of two governments will there be as much support? The money on offer from UK Sport will either be withdrawn of reduced. The deal was on condition of a solo bid. Will they reduce the offer to help with the cost of mounting a bid (estimated to be £1 million)? You bet they will as they are only permitted to issue funding to UK organisations and the FAI is outwith their remit. UEFA like the idea of solo bids and now they only have Hungary in that category. Lars-Christer Olsson, director of professional football and marketing for UEFA, was keen to see a solo effort from Scotland. He was astonished that the Scottish executive could not see the value in going it alone. A few days ago Olsson said: "The one thing I cannot understand is how the Scottish government thinks it can lose money from this. No European championship has yet made a financial loss for the host county or countries". What would he know eh. Jack knows better it appears