Premier League wanted '39th game' support from FA

The Premier League's reluctance to get fully behind England's 2018 World Cup bid would have changed if Lord Triesman had voiced support for the controversial 39th Game, it was claimed today.

There was criticism of the England bid that they had not harnessed the support of the most popular league in the world.

But Triesman told the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee today however that it was the Premier League who had been slow off the mark - and that it was his opposition to the 39th game, the now-abandoned idea for each club to play an extra match in a foreign country, that was the cause.

He told the MPs: "The Premier League took a very long time to come on board. It was put to me by [league chief executive] Richard Scudamore that if I thought the 39th Game was a good idea they would have come on board much earlier."

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards did eventually become a bid director before resigning less than a year later, causing a crisis in the bid.

Triesman added: "Sir Dave did come on and did a lot of travelling for the bid which I was very grateful for. When he did resign however he was shaking an already rather shaky machine."

Triesman added that he had been surprised to read that a family company linked to Richards had won a contract from England 2018 to provide bid merchandise.

"I was very surprised. I would expect a declaration of interest by anyone whose business was supplying anything to us, regardless of value," said Triesman.

"That was a guideline in the FA board."

Triesman also said the FA had been bounced into bidding by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"He did not give an ultimatum - he announced if before the FA board had considered it," said the peer.

Mike Lee, formerly communications director of the Premier League, UEFA and London's 2012 Olympic bid, told MPs that England 2018 had failed to learn the lessons of the unsuccessful 2006 bid, or take good practice from London 2012's successful one.

He said mistakes included having a bid chairman who was also FA chairman, not having an independent bid company, appearing arrogant and failing to get across the right messages.

"It was never clear what the overall strategy or compelling message of what England could offer football was," said Lee.

"It sounded very arrogant, that we are the best, we have the most passionate fans - try telling that to people from Brazil and Argentina - and we have the Premier League so we must be the best."

He also said there was no "rush of activity" from the highest levels of Government in supporting the bid in the way Tony Blair helped London's Olympic bid.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map