Euro 96 books reveal record profit of pounds 69m

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The Independent Online
England's hopes of staging the World Cup in 2006 were given a boost yesterday when it was revealed that Euro 96 had made a record profit of pounds 69m.

The virtually trouble-free month was proof that hooliganism can be conquered and now the announcement of a multi-million pound profit for the championships puts the icing on the Football Association's cake.

While all that money will be going to Uefa, the governing body of European football, rather than Lancaster Gate, the FA will receive pounds 4m as reward for England's run to the last four. Winners Germany will get pounds 6m after lifting the trophy courtesy of their golden-goal win over the Czech Republic. Scotland receive pounds 2.5m for coming third behind England in their group.

The FA also revealed an extra surplus of pounds 500,000 and it is expected that further money will come in the next few months as Uefa make a contribution towards the operating costs of the event.

While the FA were the organisers, the tournament was held under Uefa's auspices, with the fees for television and radio broadcasts and gate receipts going to European football's governing body.

Of the total profit, pounds 47m will be split between the 16 competing nations. The other pounds 22m will go into Uefa's Special Fund, dedicated to the development of the game in the emerging nations of eastern Europe.

"When it comes to bidding for the World Cup, there can be no better example to point to than that we have proved we can organise a tournament that was a huge success, in terms of crowds, the atmosphere and the financial side as well," Steve Double, an FA spokesman, said.

The FA's own profit, with the costs of organising the tournament over four years detracted from the income of pounds 3.8m, was more than many had expected. Double added: "There were some doom and gloom merchants predicting that we would make a massive loss and, while we were never in this to make a profit for ourselves, we always said the tournament would make either a small loss or a small profit.

"Fortunately it was a profit, but more importantly the success in every aspect of Euro 96 has put the reputation and prestige of England and the English game at the highest level it's been at since 1966. That's not something you can buy.

"And there were other spin-offs as well, for the game in this country and the economy as a whole. We saw that at first hand at Wembley on Wednesday, with a capacity crowd for Glenn Hoddle's first game, proof that we've gained hugely from the summer. There was a Euro 96-related tourist boom in June, and as a direct result of the number of foreign visitors the trade balance was in surplus."

Euro 96 tournament director Glen Kirton stressed that the good financial news had topped off what was in every other respect a terrific tournament.

"The money side is very nice but it was never the purpose of the exercise," Kirton said. "That was always the prestige of English football and the hope that we could leave a legacy for the future."

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