An exciting day for the city of Leeds as it was announced they were successful in their bid to become a 2018 World Cup host city, should England’s bid be successful.

The 2018 bid went a little off the rails for England recently, but after David Beckham’s appearence it now seems to be well on track. Not since 1966 have England hosted the World Cup, while sworn enemies Germany have hosted the prestigious competition twice in that time. For me, football coming home is long overdue.

Map of selected host cities

Map of selected host cities

The map above shows all the selected host cities and whilst few will be surprised by the inclusion of Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, London and perhaps Leeds, the selection commitee threw a few shocks into the announcement with Plymouth and Bristol. Sheffield and Sunderland being picked as well as Leeds and Newcastle may also have surprised a few.

What’s really impressed me about the decision is that cities who have teams outside the Premiership, such as Sheffield, Leeds, Plymouth, Bristol and Milton Keynes have been selected. For once, the FA have made a decision that will not only benefit the powers that be in football, but the wider footballing community too.

Of course, the only thing we, as Leeds United fans are really interested in at the moment is the plans for Elland Road. Architects had already sketched out some ideas for what an extended stadium could look like should Leeds be successful, with both the North and West stands becoming two tiers to bring the maximum capacity upto 51,240.

Whilst some will wonder why we need such an enormous stadium after the World Cup, I think it shows a great amount of ambition from the current board and the city in general. I don’t often agree with anything Ken Bates does at Leeds United, but this kind of planning for an event nine years in the future shows which direction the club are aiming to go.

If the 2018 bid is successful, then I have no doubts the stadium will be used to capacity once Leeds return to the top flight. I also think an expansion and redevelopment of Elland Road would be important in ensuring we can still compete with the big boys once we get back to the Premier League.

Click to 'back the bid!'

Congratulations to the Back The Bid Leeds team for their efforts. The stars of the past that turned out to support the campaign have also played their part and it’s a great day for everyone involved as well as Leeds United fans across the world and residents of the city itself. Attention will now turn to the 2018 Back The Bid campaign which has until December 2010 to argue our case.

Show your support now by backing the bid.

  • Colin

    Well done Leeds. Should always have been expected that we would be successful, but you can’t take your eye off the ball and the Leeds bid organisation kept working hard.

    I love your picture of the England host cities and the 3 Wise men. Do you want to go halves with me on buying some blu-tack so that the England 2018 team can use it to straighten up the signs for London, Plymouth and Bristol – they’re wonky and look as if they’re about to fall off.

    I think it will cost us about 75p each. But it would be worth it to ensure that England get the World Cup.

    • TSS

      Sounds like a sound investment. 75p each for the World Cup. Bargain!

  • West Stand Rebel

    Great news or is it ? I am just a humble and somewhat older season ticket holder aged 58 who certainly would like to be still around in 2018 God willing. The doubt ? Well who pays for this ground upgrade which will cost millions ? After all do we even know who owns the ground or which parts they own ?
    The Council cannot foot the bill and with harder times for Government spending they or their successors cannot stump up this sort of cash. Ken Bates (fund manager at ER ) has never put any money behind the Club and neither have the true owners whoever they may be. Which leaves you and me or persons unknown to come in and untangle the mess of ownership should uncle Ken decide to shove off. This too is unlikely in the near future as the Club’s fortunes improve on the pitch and the money pours into the Cayman Islands.
    So the timescale to sort this all out seems to be against us much as I would like to be a host city for the World Cup.
    Love to hear other supporters views

    • Colin

      West Stand Rebel,
      Elland Road has been in the hands of outside owners since it was sold to Jacob Adler, a property developer based in Manchester, by the United board fronted by ex-chairman Gerald Krasner in November 2004. Adler also acquired Thorp Arch as part of the same deal.

      Leeds agreed a 25-year lease and negotiated the right to buy back both properties, an option which was retained in 2005 when Adler transferred ownership of Elland Road to Teak Commercial Limited, a company based in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.

      I think the buy back clause is about £12.5m

      The only thing I can guess is that the current LUFC owners (FSF Forward Sports Fund) have no intention of buying back any of the assets such as Thorp Arch or Elland Road. Basically, I don’t think they have any cash. It came out that Bates put no money in and that FSF were the ones who essentially bought the name Leeds United. The only other responsibility they have is to pay the staff and players etc.
      This is why the hotel/shopping complex is so often mentioned. FSF could make a profit out of this and give it some kudos using the name Leeds United.
      Let’s think like business people and not football fans – They make a profit out of Leeds from ticket sales/sponsorship etc. as more money comes in than goes out – they’ve more than recouped the money they bought the club for. They use that cash to build the complex (or get loans using that cash as collateral), then make profit by renting out the shopping sites and the hotel. Then you just sit and wait until someone puts a bid in for Leeds. FSF would never sell unless the money was a stupid amount, but no-one is going to pay big money for a club that doesn’t own the ground or training ground.

      Elland Road doesn’t make profit, it’s the peripheral things like tickets, sponsorship etc. and these are owned by FSF. From a financial point of view it makes no sense for them to buy back ER. I very much doubt we will buy it back any time soon.

      Impact on ER for 2018: i think it’s a case of think now, do later. There’s a high likelihood that 2018 doesn’t come to ER.

    • TSS

      There’s no way FSF would invest the money required to build an hotel complex and extend the stadium if they didn’t have long-term security on the ground. They either have an indefinite right to the lease or are planning to buy the stadium back in the future in my opinion.

  • The Football League has announced the 50 golden moments, as nominated by fans, which will compete for the honour of being voted the greatest League Cup moment of all time.

    To see the Top 50 moments and register your Leeds vote, visit http://www.leaguecup50.com