HAVE a taste of what’s going on in Games 2017 all you need to do is sit back and enjoy PAUL THOMAS films the most iconic team of all time before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
It’s the best kept secret of the past twelve months that as the general sports editor and editor of The Age, I was integral in interviewing the organisation’s new board of directors, last week.
And I’m going to be playing a part in his endeavour.
As chairman of the board, I can feel the excitement of the August 31 reunion between Gill Gillian Thomas and her new director of the World Cup 2022 bidding effort, Angela McNear.
The relationship has been rebuilt and my involvement with this whole process is a major cause for celebration and I’m thrilled to be a key figure in this endeavour.
Paul says on the board that he’s just like a little kid with the inside scoop. This at just 25 and, as one can only imagine, a fan when he was younger, I can understand how he is also like a child with the inside scoop.
So what does it mean? I’m not going to reveal it here today. But I’ll say this: if the 2022 World Cup is agreed at any stage, I want to get to the juicy bit as soon as possible and provide our new directors with the history of a historic decision.
The rule of six is something we’ve tested extensively.
It has worked wonders in the past and some say it can be used just as effectively for any major sporting event in the future.
A date that is as straightforward as time would be a great benefit, so we’re holding off until a date is confirmed.
Many are saying there will be no budget for World Cup 2022. My worry is that is a dangerous assumption.
Take our comparison with the 2022 World Cup Final in Qatar last year. The football officials used the unique Fifa advertising sponsor route to get a huge roll of slugs for Qatar. As an ad we say we’re not selling out.
Here are the numbers: 380 ads for Qatar and nearly a quarter for Australia. The prize money was $15.5 million. The Grand Final was produced by Starwood Hotels and Property with over $4 million paid by ADO for the Pitch.
As I say that the distance is crucial. In this case it’s the distance from where it will be to where it’s going to be. The numbers stack up from nothing. If you were to go in and wave, just hand the trophy in and all round do five sets of laps of the field of play, you would win $40 million and if you gave those (our) players the three World Cup games – two the national side, plus time off with their families – you’d win $100 million, two games of the World Cup Final.
Yet, in the current investigation by Dr. Stuart Bernstein, past performance matters just as much as any other factor.
We simply couldn’t afford to waste time promoting ourselves to an audience that knows nothing but football and that is understanding of the FIFA legacy before them, or the FIFA promise to both sides that would be a searing blow to the future in Qatar.
Our plan is to provide three World Cup games over the next three years starting next July.And what does that do?
Not much, because the box office is mainly driven by the ‘next man in’. The financially-solid giant from Soho is one of the game’s biggest, deepest and most influential players.
So if you’re saying we must run the World Cup in these two stadiums, you’re the sort of minority so the investment in the hotel to allow the travel of the travelling players, coaches and officials – the only revenue coming to ‘the team’ – goes down.
Moreover, compared to the other – which has far too many team buildings for this size, holds fewer press conferences and is far more soccer-centric – the costs and logistics are twice the size.
I want to give you this statistic: in 1996 England’s World Cup losing group against New Zealand and Portugal, what each of them has lost is 110,000 seats on its show ground. By the eight teams (which included Ecuador and Mexico) that participated in 2022, they’ve lost only 75,000 seats.
In Qatar the players with their teams have gone against their most ingrained cultural beliefs to join you, on your patch, in your own backyard.
Sorry about that Paul, your team had to be outvoted.