The final furlong in the race for EURO2008 has been reached and the runners are split in to two groups. The favourites and the rest. Scotland and Ireland are in the former along with Nordic 2008 and the bid from Austria and Switzerland. The day of reckoning when the decision will be announced is Thursday 12th December. Up till then the lobbying in the corridors of UEFA power will be intense as the winners will win the prize of a healthy return on their investment. The losers will lick their wounds and consider whether it is worth using the lessons learnt as soon as possible and go for hosting EURO2012. However, with FIFA changing the arrangements for awarding the World Cup, EURO2008 could be the last chance for small countries like Scotland, Austria or Hungary to play with the big boys.
The seven bidders will have the chance to make their final 15 minute presentation to UEFA's Executive Committee on Wednesday 11th December. No professional presenter is permitted but Scotland do have a lawyer used to pleading cases heading into the spotlight. SFA Chief Executive David Taylor will reprise his performance in Nyon last June when he first presented the joint bid. Taylor's speech was accepted to have been the most professional made that day. Thankfully, his words will be the last the committee hear from the bidders. The order of presentations have Austria and Switzerland on first (at 2pm) followed by Croatia and Bosnia-Hertzegovina, Greece-Turkey, Hungary, Nordic2008, Russia and then Scotland-Ireland (due around 5:15pm).
SF.Net will follow that order in a series of articles looking at the respective bids in the days leading up to the final presentation. We will start tomorrow morning with Austria-Switzerland.