England World Cup bid gathers pace

England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup gathers momentum today when the FA board meet to decide on the structure of the campaign.

England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup gathers momentum today when the FA board meet to decide on the structure of the campaign.

The board, under FA chairman Lord Triesman, are expected to give the green light for a bid company similar to the one which was successful for the London 2012 Olympics.

No public figurehead is expected to be appointed at this stage – names such as Prince William and Gary Lineker have been suggested – but a decision on the format of the bid company is likely.

The bid company would have a chairman, a chief executive and a board of directors, and the Government have already made clear they want to have sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe and his predecessor Richard Caborn – currently the prime minister’s World Cup bid ambassador – on the team.

The board will also consider whether the bid team would benefit from having independent directors connected neither to the FA nor the Government.

The future of the National Football Centre at Burton should also become a lot clearer after tomorrow’s meeting even if opinion is split among board members on the direction of the project.

Officials have been examining the cost implications of building the centre and linking it to a hotel and leisure complex.

The other issue to be dealt with by the board is refinancing the debt owed on Wembley Stadium.

Income from the stadium has been significantly less than expected and Triesman has set up a finance sub-committee to consider managing the £433m debt.

Conclusive discussions have yet to be held with the banks but Triesman is expected to tell board members that extending the repayment period would significantly cut the FA’s annual interest costs.

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