David Taylor, chief executive of the SFA, was resplendent in his kilt as he made the all important first selling pitch for the joint ScotlandIreland EURO2008 bid in Nyon. While some may complain the Scottish-Irish pitch was the last of the seven bid presentations made. However, it could well be our alphabetical placing may be to our advantage. How many meetings have you been at and you only remember the last thing you hear? The bid did not try to sell something that we are not. He made clear that both countries were aware of the limitations but emphasised that the opportunity to take that step into the world's spotlight was something that both countries were ready for. In his allotted five-minute presentation at the House of Football in Nyon, Taylor explained to the assembled UEFA officials why we thought that Scotland and Ireland would deliver the best European Championships ever. Taylor said: "A successful bid needs a proven capability of organising great football events. UEFA can be confident that we can take the successful format of previous tournaments and build upon their success to move the championships to new levels of organisation and enjoyment."
Not lacking in colour in Nyon
Taylor was not above using any and all means to play on romanticism of both countries in terms of "exceptional hospitality", scenery and football fervour. The 100,000 crowd which welcomed the Republic Of Ireland squad back from the World Cup was also brought in the underline just how passionate we can be. Taylor went on: "The people of Scotland and Ireland have an unrivalled desire for these Championships. Our nations on the edge of Europe, ask this of UEFA: give us the opportunity to climb onto the world stage to prove the greatest football fans in the world can be the greatest hosts in 2008."
The waiting now starts for the UEFA delegation tourthat will meander round all the 7 candidates examining the stadia involved, local infrastructure and accommodation. These tours will take place between August and October. The delegation's visit to Scotland will underline what UEFA already know about Scotland's bid, as the SFA had the opportunity to sell the idea of EURO2008 coming here when they visited Glasgow for this year's Champions League final. The final decision will be made at the end of the year - and UEFA could have picked a better date than 13th December!
As this site always says EURO2008 - WHY THE HELL NOT!