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Cities make case to be in England's 2018 World Cup bid

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Cities submit 2018 Cup venue bids

The 15 cities hoping to be part of England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals have submitted their cases for inclusion at Wembley.

About 10 cities will be chosen from a list that includes London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Derby, Hull and Newcastle-Gateshead.

Nottingham, Plymouth, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Sunderland and Bristol are also candidates.

The chosen venues will be announced by the 2018 bid team on 16 December.

BBC Sport's Joe Wilson, who was at Wembley for the submission, said: "The team has to decide whether it looks for a geographical spread when it chooses its host cities and grounds or sticks to the traditional footballing hotbeds."

Each city's proposal has been led by a bid team of influential figures from the region, endorsed by a host of footballing and celebrity stars.

2018 WORLD CUP - BIDDING CITIES
2018 bidding cities
Newcastle: Joint Newcastle-Gateshead bid
Portsmouth withdrew bid 25 Nov

Milton Keynes was the first potential host to make its submission, with MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman and Dons manager Paul Ince, capped 53 times by England, at Wembley to bang the town's drum.

Ince said: "We just want people to take us seriously because we are mixing with the Manchesters and Liverpools. It is a serious campaign by us - I wouldn't be involved if it wasn't, and when they do see our (plans) they'll realise how serious we are."

Hull chairman Adam Pearson said staging a World Cup match could be the final piece in the regeneration of the city.

"There is complete unity between the council and the football club and the stadium and we think we are well placed," he said.

"We have a Premier League football club and a modern stadium with great infrastructure around it and Hull is a city that would surprise a lot of people with how pleasant and regenerated it is.

"Sporting-wise the city has been transformed over the last 10 years with the football club and both rugby league sides doing well and I think the World Cup bid would take it to the next level."

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn backed the passion of fans in the North East to help bring the World Cup to the Stadium of Light.

MATT SLATER'S BLOG

"It's an area steeped in football legacy and tradition. So it's about packaging that up with the infrastructure and everything else and saying this World Cup bid can't go ahead without Sunderland," he said.

Peter Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne believe the Newcastle-Gateshead bid is also a strong one.

"The North East is a special place for sport. The infrastructure is in place and everyone who comes to St James Park loves their day, whatever club they support," said Beardsley.

Gascoigne added: "There are always full houses at St James Park and it would be a big thing for the city to have World Cup and hopefully the bid will go well."

Gascoigne and Shearer back Newcastle-Gateshead

Between 12 and 18 stadiums will be selected for inclusion in England's bid, which will be presented to Fifa in May 2010.

Four of the 15 cities - London, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield - will submit proposals that contain more than one stadium.

However, England's bid can contain more than one city with two stadiums or more.

Manchester's bid will include Eastlands and Old Trafford, the homes of Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.

"We still need to turn up; we can't be arrogant," said Mike Amesbury from Manchester City Council. "We do have world-class stadia and football is running through the veins of Manchester, but we're there to help England's bid for 2018.

"We've got a lot to bring to the table and we're proud to be involved."

Liverpool's campaign centres around the yet-to-be-built new grounds of both Liverpool and Everton.

But Everton's plan for a new stadium and retail facilities in Kirby were dealt a blow on Thursday when the government backed a decision to refuse planning permission for the scheme.

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: "I'm sure Liverpool's bid and Everton's place in that bid has been very much damaged by the rejection of the Kirkby project.

"It's clear to us that Goodison is not a stadium fit to host World Cup games in the modern era.

"[But] it's important for us to support the city and as one of the country's most famous football clubs important for us to support the country's bid.

"The World Cup is nine years away and we are determined to do everything we can to sort our stadium out."

Everton decision affects city bid prospects - Elstone

Elstone also mooted sharing a new ground with Liverpool, but the Anfield club are confident of securing funds for their own new stadium and being part of England's World Cup bid, according to 2018 chief executive Andy Anson.

"Liverpool have a very convincing bid, it's 2009 now and 2018 we're talking about," he said.

"They are very optimistic that the funding for their new stadium is around the corner.

"The fallback option is Anfield. They would clearly have to make improvements in the next nine years but it is there as an iconic stadium as part of their bid book. We'll be evaluating their bid in that light."

The proposal from Sheffield will focus on improvements to Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground and Hillsborough, the home of Sheffield Wednesday.

London's effort will be the largest bid, with four stadiums included.

These are Wembley, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur's proposed new ground and the 2012 Olympic stadium.

Chelsea's Stamford Bridge is not included because it lacks the required size required for a World Cup, while the nature of the site is also deemed unsuitable.

London United chairman Simon Greenberg said: "We are included as a showcase training venue, as is the Cobham training complex, so Chelsea will play a full role in the World Cup but won't be hosting matches."

Depending on how many stadiums the England 2018 team decide to include in their bid, as many as one third of the venues for the tournament could be in the capital.

The campaigns of Birmingham, Leeds, Hull, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Newcastle-Gateshead, Derby and Sunderland are based on existing facilities in the shape of Villa Park, Elland Road, the KC Stadium, Stadium MK, the Walkers Stadium, St James' Park, Pride Park and the Stadium of Light.

Possible 2018 legacy for 2012 stadium

The bids from Nottingham and Bristol include stadiums that have yet to be built while Plymouth's revolves around the redevelopment of Plymouth Argyle's Home Park ground.

"We've got a location to die for in the south west of England with Plymouth at the heart of Devon and Cornwall," Plymouth Argyle director Keith Todd told BBC Radio 5 live.

"This is a Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall bid. The fact there's going to be one incredible legacy left as a result of bringing the World Cup to Plymouth is a big asset. Fifa is very keen on ensuring there's some legacy.

"It will be a major step forward for the south west, with a stadium England will be proud of."

Milton Keynes is a town but for the purposes of the bid the venues come under the heading of city.

Portsmouth pulled out of the race to be a potential host on Wednesday after the City Council refused to provide the necessary financial guarantees.



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see also
Everton's stadium plan rejected
26 Nov 09 |  Everton
Infighting harms 2018 bid - Brady
25 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Portsmouth pulls out of 2018 bid
25 Nov 09 |  Portsmouth
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals
City could pay 15m for World Cup
19 Nov 09 |  Leicestershire
England 2018 bid team streamlined
12 Nov 09 |  Football
Fifa man hands back England gift
04 Nov 09 |  Football
2018 bid gives handbags as gifts
23 Oct 09 |  Football
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Argentines back England Cup bid
17 Sep 09 |  Football
The race to host World Cup 2018 and 2022
17 Mar 09 |  Internationals


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Guardian.co.uk World Cup 2018: England's bidding cities - 10 hrs ago
Square Football Which 16 English stadiums could host World Cup 2018 and will Merseyside miss out? - 20 hrs ago
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