England 2018 World Cup bid team distance themselves from media - CHARLES SALE

15 November 2010 12:01
England's struggling 2018 World Cup bid team have taken the high-risk strategy of writing to all 24 voting FIFA ExCo members to distance themselves from the British media.

This follows the Sunday Times probe into cash for votes that has led to the temporary suspension of two of the FIFA high command, and also relates the upcoming Panorama documentary.

The letter, sent out last Friday and signed by bid chairman Geoff Thompson and international president David Dein, explains the campaign team cannot control the Press and that the Panorama programme scheduled for November 29, three days before the vote, appears to rake over old issues, some of which took place 10 years, as Sports Agenda revealed.

Nothing to do with us: England's troubled 2018 bid team have attempted to distance themselves from the British media

They also try to curry favour by pointing out it was England 2018 who alerted FIFA about the 'bogus' lobbying company Franklin Jones set up for entrapment purposes three weeks ahead of the Sunday Times publicising their findings. In addition, FIFA were told of the existence of rogue communications outfit, Bergman Lynch.

But it is a calculated gamble to send out a 'don't blame us' missive on the eve of the ethics committee inquiry into allegations against Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, while an ExCo meeting on Friday will look into delaying the 2022 vote because of vote trading suspicions surrounding Spain for 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

England's last correspondence with FIFA was an ill-opportune complaint about Russian slurs on London, which backfired and their rivals might also take full advantage of this letter.

Complaints: Engalnd were unhappy over comments made by Russian bid rival Alexei Sorokin

But England 2018, who are trailing behind Spain and Russia, believe they have nothing to lose by highlighting their media paranoia, which they regard as the biggest issue affecting their chances.

The letter, endorsed by the 2018 board, says: 'We hope England's bid will not be judged negatively due to the activities of individual media organisations, regardless of one's view of their conduct.

'We hope you appreciate that we have no control over the British media. Concern over what the future might hold for FIFA in its relationship with the British media if we were to be successful should also be dismissed. We are sure FIFA would receive a positive reception.'

 It's not just the England rugby team who look transformed after the epic victory over Australia. So, too, is boss Martin Johnson (right).

He cut a sullen and dour figure when he took charge, with the RFU hierarchy nervous about his appointment because he had little previous coaching experience.

But he now looks relaxed and confident about his team, his backup staff and his own role.

 John Gregory (right), now in charge of Israeli Premier League side FC Ashdod, is understood to be selling his Aston Villa car number plate V1LLA which he bought for £44,000 in 2000 halfway through his four-year spell at Villa Park.

Famously, former owner Doug Ellis accidentally crashed his Rolls Royce (number plate AV1) into Gregory's similarly plated Range Rover in the Villa car park.

 Kentaro, the sports agency organising this week's friendly in Qatar between Brazil and Argentina, have taken a huge amount of time to rubber stamp England's proposed match in February against Argentina in Copenhagen.

Kentaro officials said on October 6 that arrangements would be finalised in a few days. Five weeks later and we're still waiting for confirmation.

 Salary cap doesn't fit The way the Premier League dominates the English football landscape can be gauged by Football League chairman Greg Clarke's comment to Championship clubs when salary caps in the division were discussed at the last meeting.

Clarke quickly ended that debate by declaring that clubs wouldn't want to upset the Premier League with such a decision.

 Liverpool's new American owners NESV, who seem to be basing all their future plans on the Arsenal model, gave early notice of their intentions when they went on a tour of the Emirates Stadium before buying the Anfield club.

    More from Charles Sale. Charles Sale: Panorama probe fails to nail FIFA and only serves to anger Sepp Blatter12/11/10 Charles Sale: Agents fight over Newcastle hotshot Andy Carroll's contract10/11/10 Charles Sale: FA motor towards England deal with Vauxhall09/11/10 Charles Sale: England only third in running to host 2018 World Cup08/11/10 Charles Sale: Hong Kong businessman Kenny Huang hit by writ at sport summit30/10/10 Charles Sale: England 2018 bid weighed down by acting FA chairman Burden?28/10/10 CHARLES SALE: FIFA mull delay to 2018 World Cup ballot27/10/10 CHARLES SALE: World Cup 2018 bid battle hots up on the home front26/10/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

 Explore more:People: John Gregory, Martin Johnson, Geoff Thompson, Doug Ellis, David Dein Places: Copenhagen, Liverpool, London, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Qatar, United Kingdom, Brazil, Russia, Anfield Club Organisations: Football League

Source: Daily_Mail