Pack Your Bags!

By Ed_ScottishFitba
Last updated : 22 November 2002

There may be problems over in Ireland regarding getting grounds available for EURO2008 but there does not appear to be one in Edinburgh. The recent game against Canada was played at Easter Road and was a chance to see if the ground could handle a large crowd. Thanks to the good impression made on the inspection delegation from UEFA, Hibs' ground stands a good chance of being one of the grounds included in the final bid presented to UEFA on 11th December. The SFA's director of the joint bid, John Henderson, was full of praise for the ground and he believes Scotland and Ireland have moved ahead of rivals, Austria and Switzerland, as the countdown to UEFA’s ticks down. Henderson said: "The visit of Canada demonstrated what a great stadium Easter Road is and when the inspection team was here they remarked how excellent the facilities were, particularly in the new main stand."

Henderson knows there is still a lot of hard lobbying of UEFA to be done. He is looking to the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Kenny Dalglish and Scotland coach Berti Vogts to play their part. Henderson went on : "
I wouldn’t like to go into detail, but Sir Alex is a huge figure and wherever he goes in Europe he is speaking to people about the bid. I was in Malta last Saturday - their president is on UEFA’s executive committee - with Kenny Dalglish who is still a big name in European football not only because of what he did in a Scotland jersey but with Liverpool. Berti Vogts is very well connected, very experienced and knows a lot of people. We are pulling as many levers as we can to influence the decision makers." Henderson and his team will be inviting influential journalists from Europe to come and see what Scotland and Ireland have to offer. The persuasion tactics will also include Henderson heading off to sell the bid to all who will listen in Europe. Let’s hope the travel and subsistence investment is worth it.


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Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba.net)
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