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City of Bristol Failed bid team that blew £400,000 (its only money-think of the legacy)

December 6, 2010

In the interests of free speech I’ve reprinted the famous photo of the good and great of the city ready with press photographers to celebrate. Champagne on ice and prawn sandwiches at the ready-this was the PR opportunity of a lifetime.

You can imagine it- “We woz the one’s wot done it!!”  “New stadium must go ahead now, Jack Warner will sort out those town green nimbys”   Lots of elderly men in suits, and the odd token woman, in the council house jumping up and down singing.

Well its only right that in view of the abject failure of the England bid that they should accept their part in the humility of blowing nearly half million in cash on a gamble. No sign of humble apology or heads hung in shame except on this photo. No word of ‘sorry citizens but we wasted a bucket load of your cash and hard earned taxes.’ Simon Cook’s calling it a good legacy for the city, losing..

So here they all are again -the WORLD CUP FAILURES (its ok its only a game and a bit of cash)


World-cup Bristol failure team

Prize awarded to those who can name the most failures in the photo, (choose prize from poll list)

  1. Chris E permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:59 am

    As you’ve been known to be an utterly pedantic muppet, since when did £400,000 become equal to “half a million”?

  2. December 6, 2010 3:55 pm

    The odd £100k doesn’t seem to matter to this lot-they haven’t included loads of stuff.
    Probably bucketload more than 1/2 million. You try getting an exact figure from them if you’re so concerned.

  3. Still Waters permalink
    December 6, 2010 6:12 pm

    If you want to be pedantic, the actual phrase was “blowing nearly half million” – afaik, 400k IS nearly half a million.

    And yes, a final set of accounts would be nice to see – wahay! another FoI request!

    I do feel sorry for them though, in a small way; Too many minor public servants bought the magic bean ploy.

    FIFA and the FA screwed over a lot of councils by making them cough up sureties, but ours was in the top 3 of headless chickens, when some London councils only put up £61k.

    (I like the way the Jankemeister seems to have a half grin on her face, almost a ‘told you so’ look.)

  4. steve p permalink
    December 6, 2010 7:40 pm

    Is the video of this available anywhere ?

  5. Richard Lane permalink
    December 6, 2010 9:52 pm

    If you want to be pedantic, £400k is 20% short of £500k, so not even nearly close and it wasn’t even £400k.
    London only made one bid as far as I know so it was bound to be less per council.
    Try spreading the cost amongst Bristol wards and it comes down to a little over £10k per ward. Or less than a £1 per person in the city. Well worth the gamble in my opinion, for example : we now know that there are a lot of people with poison pens that will moan about anything.

  6. Richard Lane permalink
    December 6, 2010 9:55 pm

    Steve P
    The film is available through loony tunes, ask Sacredspring for the contact number, he uses them all the time.

  7. deano permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:42 pm

    The London World Cup bid was by Greater London Council.

    The £60,000 is the total public funding for the London bid not for each council.

  8. December 7, 2010 12:23 am

    You could also say lets get £1/2 million pounds of used £20’s and put them in the fire, they’d give off a good heat and keep a few old people warm on a cold night.

  9. December 7, 2010 12:49 am

    Bristol World Cup activities cost city £700,000

    ‘The process to bid for games in the 2018 tournament, which could come to England, has cost £182,822.

    The council also had to contribute £250,000 towards the England 2018 marketing budget.

    Bristol City Council also had to absorb losses of £270,000 on a big screen in Queen Square in 2010.’

  10. Chris E permalink
    December 7, 2010 12:23 pm

    Bit of a sham really. The investigative part takes place after writing up the bullshit.

  11. December 7, 2010 2:24 pm

    I’ve covered this in a previous post.
    The sum spent ranges from £380k to £700k according to where you look.
    Fact is it’s the local ratepayers footing the bill not the World cup team or Lansdown, (or the business leaders 100% behind the bid. Maybe they should have put their money where their big mouth was, and stumped up the cash, they stood to benefit most from the WC).

  12. BobS permalink
    December 7, 2010 5:53 pm

    Chris E and Rich Lane

    Your continued defence of so much taxpayers money being spent on this shows how you will do and say anything to support a stadium bid.

    It is a shocking story, made even worse by the fact that all the corporates who would have gained from this (and claimed the glory for it) contributed not a penny, whilst the Bristol Ratepayers foot the bill. Robbing the poor to pay the rich.

  13. Richard Lane permalink
    December 7, 2010 8:07 pm

    “Your continued defence of so much taxpayers money being spent on this shows how you will do and say anything to support a stadium bid”.

    This is my first ever post on the subject of how much the bid cost.
    As you are not required to retract utter rubbish, perhaps you can justify this claim.
    You talk absolute gargbage and don’t have the foresight (along with all other detractors)
    to see how this could have benefitted Bristol. If Bristol hadn’t bid and the England bid was successful, you’d have moaned about that as well.

  14. Richard Lane permalink
    December 7, 2010 8:17 pm

    The bid, according to your figures from the BBC cost £432,822. The other £270k was spent screening the last world cup. That figure of £270k had nothing to do with the bid for 2018 and should not be included in my opinion. But hey, it’s never stopped you from painting a different picture to reality before in an attempt to score some cheap points with a cheap shot.

  15. Richard Lane permalink
    December 7, 2010 8:39 pm

    It does not look very clear that those are the total costs to London. For a start that does not include £250k towards the FA. I’m sure it will become clearer later.
    For example Sacredspring uses BBC figures of £432,822 as the cost to Bristol. But the BBC site I looked at says, it was £363k which is about the figure the city’s bid leader quoted.
    Many of the stated costs for bid cities obviously did not include the FA figure of £250k which I believe had to be lodged with them by all bid cities

  16. Richard Lane permalink
    December 7, 2010 8:43 pm

    Or we could all go to Ashtonvale and keep warm by the heat of one of the regular community bonfires.
    And throw the cost of legal action for the TVG on as well, that would be a fair bit of wasted public money to keep the flames going.

  17. Chris E permalink
    December 7, 2010 11:47 pm

    I pay my way and I have a right to support any spending as I see fit. If you don’t and won’t accept that, it’s your problem.

  18. December 8, 2010 1:16 am

    Big screen talk earlier in the year:

    Tom Scott, part of the council’s marketing team for Bristol’s 2018 World Cup bid, told the Post: “We are not too far away from announcing something. We want it to be as big as we can make it but that obviously requires sign off from a number of bodies and the need for sponsors to fund it. We are hoping to reveal what is planned this week.”

    Part of Mr Morris’ concern was that the city appeared to be missing a trick to promote its candidature for hosting World Cup matches in 2018 if England wins the right to stage the tournament.

    Big screen fanzone for this year’s WC was considered integral part of the bid.
    Simon Cook doesn’t want this overspend included obviously.
    Drunken hooligan elements caused disruption of friendly fanzone-visitors did not feel safe going there to support their foreign national teams.

  19. BobS permalink
    December 8, 2010 7:52 am

    Its not your money I worry about Chris. I’m sure the club pay you well. It’s everyone elses. This should not have been a ratepayers expense. It’s funny how the
    business leaders are so quick to demand that ratepayers pay for such projects whilst so few of them even live in town.

  20. Chris E permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:22 am

    I am not paid by the club – to suggest I am is scurrilous bullshitting of the highest magnitude.

  21. Chris E permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:28 am

    Oh yeah – that German next to me as I watched the England-Germany game felt very unsafe as he complimented me for the gracious way in which the people around us accepted defeat.

    Good, you and the fans around you are a credit to the country. Shame about the fact that my German friend was unable to go there and in town later in his germany shirt for fear of being attacked.

  22. Will permalink
    December 8, 2010 4:31 pm

    I don’t think councils should be saving money. This exactly the sort of thing they should be spending our council tax on in my view. Whats wrong with promoting sport and bidding for the biggest football tournament in the world?
    Maybe the Bristol bid is higher than others because we are not as well known for these sort of events.

  23. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 8, 2010 4:55 pm

    Will. There is nothing wrong with promoting sport as you say, I,m all for it. I also think they should have bid for the World Cup, although doing so without a stadium in place, and where there is no obvious transport infrastructure, was always a risk had the bid been won. It was also not unreasonable to ask those who would, by their own admissions, benefit most, to contribute. What will be interesting now,is how far this new enthusiasm for sport goes now that the WC won’t be coming. My guess is not very far. Sport is not all about the proffessional game and certainly not all about how much it benefits local business and if our council wants to spend money on something that has numerous benefits that are not always obvious, then that something is getting people PLAYING sport!

  24. Still Waters permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:42 pm

    “The sum spent ranges from £380k to £700k according to where you look.”

    So ‘nearly 500k’ (400k being much nearer 500 than 300, for example) is a fairly conservative estimate – I notice that the actual true figure is being chased via the Freedom of Information Act, so we’ll get a reasonably accurate figure soon.

    PS: to be really pedantic, it’s ‘poison keyboards’ 😀

  25. Richard Lane permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:55 pm

    Yes that is really pedantic.

  26. Richard Lane permalink
    December 8, 2010 9:07 pm

    How on earth can you say there is no obvious transport infrastructure?
    The last time I looked there was a 5 mile straight road to the M5, the site is bordered by two main A roads, the A370 on one side and the A38 on the other, the A4 is less than half a mile away. It has a main line railway with station less than half a mile away.
    An international airport is within six miles, providing internal flights as well. The BRT is still on the agenda, there is an existing stadium with no travel plan compared to the new one. How much more do you want?
    A link road would be handy though.

  27. Richard Lane permalink
    December 8, 2010 9:22 pm

    Bristol had already been chosen as a host city in December of last year, so this was nothing to do with the cost of Bristols bid.
    “Drunken hooligan elements caused disruption of friendly fanzone-visitors did not feel safe going there to support their foreign national teams”.
    What rubbish, the authorities cocked it up byfencing it in and restricting access. if there were no restrictions, any over attendance would have been soaked up into the city, the same as any other major event.

    Wrong again it was integral part of England bid. Host Citys had to demonstrate ability to put on fanzone and more importantly show they could attract sponsorship for the Fifa piggy bank. Security was a major problem and alcohol restricted. There’s still a drunken hooligan image for this country sadly, hence the overspend on this event.

  28. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:28 pm

    Rich. I’ll leave it to others to decide if the infrastructure you mention is adequate for a 44,000 crowd. I don’t think it is, but, like anyone else, I could be wrong! By A38 I take it you mean Winterstoke Road, straight road to M5, I take it you mean the Portway, and surely the Portway is the A4. I accept your point about the station, I take it you mean Parson Street, but thats a steady walk and if you mean take transport we are back to the old Winterstoke Road arguement again. If the BRT or the Link Road are built before the 2018 World Cup I will buy you a drink, infact I will buy you two drinks.

  29. Chris permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:40 pm

    I’ve got a fear of being killed by a giant spider coming out of Cabot Circus but doesn’t stop me going there. Basing such a theory on a fear is a bit lame tbh.

    There was one night where the management of the FanZone caused problems – at other times it was a pleasure.

    I say this as someone who went to a number of games – both England and others – and a resident whose address contains “Queen Square”.

  30. Richard Lane permalink
    December 8, 2010 11:18 pm

    Sacredspring You are wrong again. Bristol was chosen as a host city in December of last year. This was held in the summer of this year.
    Bristol and manchester were the only cities to have big screens, Manchester had about 20,000 I believe at their screen, so it was not about host cities abilities, as others weren’t involved. It was a practice for holding a fanzone, nothing to do with the bid as we were already selected as You know.

  31. Chris permalink
    December 8, 2010 11:26 pm

    As someone who also visited the Manchester fanzone for non football purposes, they had 3 screens and they had more sensibly managed the England games by requiring tickets from the start.

    Was probably a better location too as one of the screens had a bit of an amphitheatre setup too.

  32. Tony Dyer permalink
    December 9, 2010 10:11 am

    Rich says
    “It does not look very clear that those are the total costs to London.”

    The BBC report gives a total for all the councils and then itemises what each council has paid. When you add up the individual totals (including the £60k for London) it matches the overall total.

    So Deano appears to be correct when he says the 60k was London’s total not the figures for each of the individual London area councils – or rather the 60k was the contribution from Greater London Council.

    Rich also says;
    “For a start that does not include £250k towards the FA.”

    As the same BBC report makes very clear “The figures show the councils’ total spending including their contribution to this fund”

    The BBC FOI request was for the costs for each bid that were paid by the local authorities who were leading host city bids. The £250k towards the FA marketing was required from each individual host city bid but there was nothing that said that all the funding had to come from the local authority itself. As the BBC report clarifies “In many areas the council paid part of that cost and the rest was paid by others, such as tourism organisations and local business.”

    So if, for example, Greater London Council persuaded local businesses and/or tourism organisations to contribute £190k towards something that has been, after all, repeatedly touted as being beneficial to each host city’s local business and tourism economy then the Greater London Council’s costs will be the remaining £60k of the £250k.

    It appears that Bristol City Council was prepared to pump more of its own public money into the bid than almost every other city and let the Bristol taxpayers take the risk of the bid failing whereas most other cities requested, and got, contributions from the local business community and tourism organisations.

    Perhaps the idea of the private sector and surrounding authorities contributing to Bristol’s World Cup bid was something that was discussed by the bid’s executive board – which had three members; the chief executive of Bristol City Council, the chief executive of Bristol City FC, and the executive chairman of GWE Business West Ltd – you know the business organisation representing 2,000 businesses from across the west that was 100% behind the bid.

  33. Richard Lane permalink
    December 9, 2010 8:33 pm

    Tony Dyer
    The BBC does not include all the totals, as some councils are ommited, you do note though that I say “it does not look very clear”.
    Thank you for your opinion on what may or may not have been the costs, baring in mind that not all costs have been submitted as yet.
    I’m not arguing with anyone about these figures I’m just as intrigued as the next person
    and would like to know the true figures from an unbiassed source, one that hasn’t manipulated them.
    It does appear that you are waiting in the wings ever eager to correct me. So now that you’ve educated us all about the sums regarding the world cup bid, perhaps you can explain how to make 10,000 houses vanish just with a little inventive manipulative word play.
    Perhaps you could also let us know what a ratepayer of South Gloucestershire is doing poking his nose into the affairs of a neighbouring administration. That is unless you have now moved back to Bristol and do now contribute towards the city. The city you seem to be so worried about, yet do your utmost to hinder at every opportunity.

    Or perhaps you Chipping Sodburyites felt left out of the world cup bid? you’ve certainly been very quiet lately. That’s probably down to making complaints and FOI requests though.

  34. Tony Dyer permalink
    December 10, 2010 10:18 am

    “The BBC does not include all the totals, as some councils are ommited”

    The point is that for the councils they do include, they provide a total which is equal to the sum of the costs listed for each of the individual councils. In other words, the sum of £60k for London is the total for that city.

    You ARE arguing about the costs when you claim that “For a start that does not include £250k towards the FA” despite the fact that the BBC report makes it clear that the figures provided does include the contribution towards those costs.

    “It does appear that you are waiting in the wings ever eager to correct me”

    If I corrected every post you make, I would have little time left to do anything else and some of us have to work for a living.

    “how to make 10,000 houses vanish”

    Well, you should be the one explaining that, seeing that having originally claimed that there were still 30,000 houses to be built (and a population growth of up to 90,000 accompanying it), you now try to claim you said no such thing!

    This is of course, after I provided you with the official figures from Bristol City Council showing that there were not 30,000 houses still to be built but just about 23,000 houses still to be built of which only about 10,000 and not been given planning permission or were subject to s.106 obligations (and that the predicted population growth was much lower than your wild guesstimates) – otherwise you would still be claiming 30,000 houses were going to be built!

    Instead, to cover up the fact that you lied about the number of houses still to be built, and the fact that you made up an imaginary website as a source for your average occupancy levels (rather than admit you used figures that were 30-40 years out of date) – you have instead invented this idea that I said there were only 10,000 houses to be built.

    Your chutzpah is stunning…..

    I suspect that anybody who has regularly followed your comments on various websites are fully capable of drawing their own conclusions regarding your reliability as a source of information – and the same applies equally to me of course. Personally I am happy enough with that situation.

    BTW, anybody interested in what the actual figures on housebuilding were can download the Core Strategy publication version which was published in November 2009 from the Bristol City Council website here

    The housing supply figures are on page 47.

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