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Backing England: United’s Scot Ferguson, City’s Italian Mancini, Chelsea’s Ancelotti, Arsenal’s Frenchman Wenger


By Pete Wilson

10 October 2010

All 20 managers in the Premier League have delivered messages backing England’s bid to stage to the 2018 World Cup ahead of the forthcoming visit by Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter to No10 Downing Street to meet Prime Minister David Cameron.

The 20 managers comprise five Englishmen, four Scots, three Italians, two Frenchmen, two Irishman (by footballing nationality), two Welshmen, an Israeli and a Spaniard, indicative that the Premier League is a melting pot not just in playing and ownership terms but in its bosses too.

Sir Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, Arsene Wenger, Roberto Mancini and Steve Bruce also feature in a new video supporting the bid. Fifa’s 24-man Executive Committe will vote on the hosts for 2018 and 2022 in Zurich on 2 December. The 20 managers’ message are:

Sir Alex Ferguson (Scottish), manager of Manchester United: “It’s always been part of Manchester United to open our doors to football people across the world. It’s a family here and if England was to host the World Cup fans would be made to feel part of that family. The facilities in England are superb which gives players the chance to perform to their highest levels.”

Sam Allardyce (English), manager of Blackburn Rovers: “The passion for football in England can be seen at all levels of the game with every step the players take and every cheer heard from the crowds.  Football is part of who we are and that would make a World Cup in England a tremendous experience for all.

“The benefits of a World Cup in England would be felt all over the country.  It would help create more coaches, inspire young people to play the game and give us the chance to raise standards everywhere.  I’m sure the public will get behind the bid just like they get behind their teams and give us a great chance of bringing the World Cup here in 2018.”

Carlo Ancelotti (Italian), manager of Chelsea: “London is full of different cultures and traditions both on the football field and on the streets.  What everyone in the city has in common is the universal language of football and this is the same all over England.  Fans and players from all over the world would find a country in love with the game and I think this would create the environment for fantastic football.  England would be a perfect setting for a World Cup.”

Steve Bruce (English), manager of Sunderland: “A World Cup in England would be a magical thing. Everyone in the country would get behind it and it would be a wonderful spectacle. English football clubs already do such good work for football both here and across the world and hosting the World Cup would give us the opportunity to do more of this.”

Owen Coyle (Scottish), manager of Bolton Wanderers: “The crowds in this country embrace exciting football and love to be entertained. A World Cup in England would not only give fans the chance to watch the best players on their own doorstep but also see countries bring their own unique styles of football with them.

“The enthusiasm fans have for football in England and the superb facilities on offer would ensure a World Cup in this country would be fantastic for the world’s players and supporters alike.”

Roberto Di Matteo (Italian), manager of West Bromwich Albion: “The stadiums in England are perfect for football as the supporters are close to the pitch which makes for a great atmosphere.

“Because of the passion and culture, the fans sing and support for the whole game. It’s not just pockets of support, it happens all over the whole ground which is just great. When I played for Italy at Wembley, I can still remember supporters singing the national anthem and it was very special.”

Avram Grant (Israeli), West Ham United manager: “What has struck me from my time in England is how passionate the fans are for football. The crowds really drive the players on the pitch to perform to the best of their ability, which helps create the exciting football that England is so famous for. A World Cup here would be a really special event.”

Roy Hodgson (English), manager of Liverpool: “I have had the privilege of working in countries around the world where football plays a key role in peoples day to day lives. However, in terms of the level of passion for the game, nothing compares to that of supporters in England. I am constantly amazed by the interest in English football when I travel around the world and foreign players who join the Premier League are always excited by the prospect of playing in a country that is so passionate about football.

“Hosting a World Cup in this country would not only inspire the next generation of football enthusiasts here but also children around the world. The power of football can play a crucial role in the lives of people of all ages and the England 2018 Bid can help to deliver positive change for millions of people. I fully support the Bid and with the decision date fast approaching I would urge people to give their support as well.”

Ian Holloway (English), manager of Blackpool: “Football is huge all over England and we would be great hosts for a World Cup.  The enthusiasm for the game we experience up here in the North-West is remarkable and there is a real football tradition in this region.

“I would also like to say that as a very proud Bristolian, I’d love to see the World Cup come to Bristol. The city has a great deal to offer and it’s not only a fantastic place to live but also a fantastic place to visit. Every Bristolian should be very excited about showing off their home city to the world.

“Hosting the World Cup will also be a fantastic boost for the kids of Bristol and football across the region. To have the biggest sports event in the world come to Bristol will provide inspiration to a whole generation of young Bristolians and that can only be a good thing for the city. I’d be delighted to see the best teams in the world training and playing in Bristol in a few years time; it will put us on the World map.”

Gerard Houllier (French), manager of Aston Villa: “I have found an admiration and affection for English football wherever I have been. In the past few years the profile of the Barclays Premier League has reached new heights. It is to their credit that the people in English football are using this popularity as a platform for football, social and human development projects around the world.”

Mark Hughes (Welsh), manager of Fulham: “It would be magnificent if the World Cup came back to England. It can create so much interest not only in the host country, but world-wide as well. Everyone then talks about football and wants to play the game and watch matches.

“There are some tremendous stadiums and playing facilities here now, as well as iconic venues steeped in history and tradition. Everything is here to put on a great show if England get to stage the World Cup.”

Chris Hughton (Irish), manager of Newcastle United: “On behalf of Newcastle United Football Club, I would like to say that we are all enthusiastically behind the bid. We would be honoured to host World Cup matches at St. James Park stadium and wish the bid every success in bringing the World Cup to the incredibly passionate fans in the North East of England.”

Roberto Mancini (Italian), manager of Manchester City: “In England there are fantastic stadiums and training venues and it’s the depth and variety of these facilities that would make England a fitting host for the World Cup. In Manchester the people love football and a World Cup here would be very exciting for fans and teams from across the world.”

Roberto Martinez (Spanish), manager of Wigan Athletic: “The FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most prestigious football competition in world football and for Wigan as a club and a town to be able to play our part would be marvellous.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Wigan to become involved in such an amazing event.”

Mick McCarthy (Irish), Wolverhampton Wanderers manager: “There is a huge appetite for football in England which is demonstrated across the country and throughout every level of the game. Football is much more than just a game – it’s a way of life to so many people. The unrivalled enthusiasm for the game is what I believe would make England a fantastic host for the 2018 World Cup.”

Alex McLeish (Scottish), Birmingham City manager: “The level of support and love of the game is what makes England such a special place to play and watch football. Every week we see thousands of fans from every walk of life supporting their teams across the country, creating the amazing atmosphere that really inspires the players. I fully support England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup.”

David Moyes (Scottish), manager of Everton: “Football really matters to the people in the City of Liverpool; it’s something which is much more than a pastime – it is a genuine passion.

“If England were to stage a World Cup then there is no doubt this City would be a key player. I would urge every football supporter in the area to get right behind this bid. We can’t afford to miss out on what could be a magnificent event.”

Tony Pulis (Welsh), manager of Stoke City: “The prospect of bringing the World Cup finals to the midlands is an exciting one for everyone associated with the game in the region. Football is buoyant in the midlands at the moment with so many of our clubs in the Barclays Premier League and I am sure it will be a massive, massive boost if we have the chance to stage the biggest tournament of all here on our doorstep.

‘Even as a proud Welshman, I fully appreciate that it’s a great time for England to host a World Cup again, so we as a Football Club are giving our wholehearted support to a bid that could bring the 2018 finals to the region”

Harry Redknapp (English), manager of Tottenham Hotspur: “Coming to train and play here as part of a World Cup would be a joy for any manager and player – everything you need is here.

“Every football fan in England would love to see the World Cup here and I really believe that we would put on a fantastic tournament for the world.”

Arsene Wenger (French), manager of Arsenal: “In the last ten years English football has developed so much and so well. The structures of the game are absolutely fantastic everywhere and the facilities that England can offer the world are truly first class.

“I have been involved with this bid personally as I strongly believe it would benefit football here and around the world for years to come. I hope we all have something to celebrate in December when FIFA makes its decision.”


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