World Cup footBALLS: counting the cost

So far the business model devised by “the brains” of Bristol’s World Cup bid, Stephen Wray, seems to consist of Steve Lansdown somehow producing a £100 million stadium for £65 million that will see Germany and Brazil roll into town to play a few games over a couple of weeks in 2018 entirely paid for by someone else as £100 million magically floats down from the heavens into our pockets.

Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. Neither are the costs of hosting a World Cup similar to running the Harbour Festival as Lib Dem Cabinet member Gary Hopkins seems to believe or has been told:

If we are successful and Bristol is a world cup venue there would be some extra costs as there is for any other event like the Harbour festival etc but the costs are comparatively small especially as it would advertise itself.

This all depends, I suppose, on what you call “comparatively small”. Indeed if you call £35 million “comparatively small” – which profligate idiots like Wray and his boss Jan Ormondroyd probably do – then hosting a World Cup is a bargain.

Let’s take Rustenberg, a city of 400,000 selected as a venue for the World Cup in South Africa 2010 as an example shall we?

The local stadium (Royal Bafokeng) was upgraded from 38,000 to 42,000 at a cost of £30 million and a “Host City Agreement” with FIFA and the World Cup 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) signed.

Last year Rustenberg Local Municipality did a presentation on 5 August 2008 on its funding requirements as a host city for the World Cup.

Here they are:

Training Venues = £11.25m
Fan Park = £3.75m
ICT related issues = £1.5m
Communication, Marketing and Branding = £2.25m
“City Beautification” = £2.25m
Greening projects = £1.5m
Volunteer Programme = £1.27m
Transport Infrastructure = £7.5m
Stadium Infrastructure (i.e excluding direct costs of stadium construction) = £3.6m

So the total funding required by Rustenberg Local Municipality is £35 million. And who will be paying this should Bristol host the tournament? Have Mr Wray and his executive team of Ms Ormondroyd, Bristol City FC’s Tesco blackmailer – Chief Exec Colin Sexston – and omnipresent Venturer ghoul John Savage thought about this?

You might also note that these Rustenberg figures so far make no allowance for policing and security. Let’s take a trip to Portland in Dorset then, where all the Olympic sailing events are set to take place in 2012.

And what’s this from the BBC just last Friday?

The estimated cost of security for the 2012 Olympic sailing events in Dorset has almost doubled, leaving uncertainty over the effect on council taxpayers

Fancy that! The budget for a major international sporting event has doubled. And the BBC even tell us by how much:

Originally put at £21m, the cost of the extra policing and security measures for the Weymouth and Portland events is now estimated at £38m

And who pays? Er …

The government has not confirmed whether it will pay the total cost.

But all this is small beer if we look at Cape Town.

In November, Cape Town’s 2010 World Cup preparation team asked their local council’s budget committee for another £34m to cover additional costs within that one budget year. This is part of a budget nightmare that has seen the cost to the city of hosting the World Cup jump to £434 million! Almost £150m above the original figure and more than 50% over-budget!

Cape Town’s 2010 team also needs another £96m over the next three budget years (i.e beyond the World Cup itself) for capital expenditure and operating requirements related to the World Cup.

Meanwhile top Cape Town politician Ian Neilson is describing FIFA, with their financial demands, as “bullies”.

Surely it’s obvious to anyone outside of Bristol’s World Cup bid team, the council’s senior managers, the Evening Cancer, Bristol’s Lib Dems and the Merchant Venturers that hosting the World Cup is the equivalent of digging a large hole and then tipping taxpayers money into it for a generation?

Indeed, with a £35m gap in the funding of the stadium and a minimum £35 million infrastructure costs before policing, it begins to look like Wray’s £100 million figure is pretty accurate … If he meant expenditure rather than income.

Are these people really serious about spending our money like this? Surely if Lansdown and Savage fancy hosting a World Cup, the council should encourage them to be putting a private sector consortium together to bid and pay for it all?

Just weeks after the council announced £30 million in cuts how can they possibly afford it? Do they even know what it’s going to cost us? Can’t they find basic information on the internet like the rest of us?

Perhaps we should at least be grateful the Cancer is now roping kids in to their squalid little World Cup indoctrination campaign? After all, they’ll be paying for it for a long time … Shouldn’t that first line in the Cancer’s article read, “Diverse, deserving and indebted”?

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3 Responses to World Cup footBALLS: counting the cost

  1. thebristolblogger says:

    Apologies. The comments on this post were lost. I had to repost it from scratch due to some weird html/layout error.

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