World Cup success could bring windfall to Maccabi

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2010

The chief operating officer for England's 2018 World Cup bid believes Maccabi UK would be a likely beneficiary of the resulting £750 million funding pot for local football facilities.

Former FA corporate affairs director Simon Johnson made the comment on returning to his native north Manchester Jewish community to address a Maccabi business breakfast.

He said a promise had been made to reinvest profits from hosting the 2018 tournament into grassroots football such as Maccabi clubs. He praised Maccabi as a model for enabling football to "reach out to affect all parts of the community across social divisions".

The breakfast was hosted by sports broadcaster Alistair Mann, a childhood friend of Mr Johnson, who recalled the pair kicking a ball around the Whitefield street they played in as children.

But after telling the audience that Mr Johnson was "better in the negotiating field", he tackled him on the consequences of the failure of the bid, which is costing £18.3 million.

Mr Johnson responded that a key plank of the bid was convincing Fifa of the benefits to local communities. The process would focus attention on the lack of football facilities for young people, which was a significant problem.

Last updated: 9:25am, October 29 2010