The idea of Scotland actually winning the race for EURO2008 appears to be gaining credence with companies seeing the benefit of being associated with the bid. The latest convert is BT Scotland which has just announced a five figure sponsorship deal with the SFA. The join a growing list of companies which are backing the bid. Ryanair are even going to reschedule their flights into Scotland and Ireland to accommodate the fixtures when they are finally announced. The successful presentation to UEFA in Nyon, Switzerland by David Taylor, chief executive of the SFA, will have been compared to the competition before any corporation even considered digging into their coffers. The race appears to have split into two with Scotland-Ireland, Austria-Switzerland and the Nordic2008 breaking away from the peleton of Hungary, Russia, Turkey-Greece and Croatia-Bosnia Herzegovina.
Of course this is not the first time that BT have offered financial support to the SFA. The BT stand at Hampden is testament to their investment in the development of Hampden. Commenting on his companies involvement, BT Scotland director Bob Downes, said: "As one of the biggest employers in Scotland, with some of the most enthusiastic fans, BT Scotland is committed to supporting important initiatives such as Scotland and Ireland's bid for EURO2008. This bid will have a tremendous impact on the economy of both countries. BT Scotland is already supportive of our national game through its ten-year sponsorship of Hampden, which will be hosting the final should the bid be successful. We are delighted to be working with the SFA, the FAI and the Scottish and Irish governments to support what we see as a very strong and positive bid."
The arrival of 'blue chip' companies on board with the bid is encouraging and sports minister Mike Watson added: "I am delighted that a company of the stature of BT has shown their support for Scotland and Ireland's joint bid through this sponsorship. This is further good news for the bid, following a positive presentation last week to the Chief Executive of UEFA. We are confident that we have submitted an extremely strong bid, which is certainly enhanced by the support of companies such as BT."
Watson is glad to see more support arrive
Companies the size of BT do not often get involved in pouring money down the drain. They like to see a return on their investment and like being linked to success. Perhaps this time Scotland will be the winners.