BBC BLOGS - Gordon Farquhar

Archives for November 2010

What's a World Cup worth?

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Gordon Farquhar | 16:30 UK time, Monday, 29 November 2010

There are three billion reasons why Prime Minister David Cameron is going to be making every effort this week to support England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup. That's because £3bn is the economic uplift in pounds sterling anticipated for the British economy should England win the right to host the event.

The principal reason that hosting major international sporting showpieces has become such a searingly competitive business is that, since the financial doldrums of the 1970s and early 80s, World Cups and Olympic Games have been perceived as something of a cash cow for governments now obliged to back them.

Political support is absolutely vital for any prospective bidder because of the guarantees now demanded by the likes of Fifa and the International Olympic Committee over security, infrastructure, financial support and even entry visas.

Governments need to be able to justify their decisions to stump up the cash - and a positive cost benefit analysis is just the tool they need.

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Faith, hope and mostly charity

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Gordon Farquhar | 07:00 UK time, Thursday, 25 November 2010

It has been a long while since I walked into a press launch for any government-backed sports initiative and had to join a disorderly queue to hang up my coat.

I have been to more events than I care to remember where the press officer looks relieved to see you, as their minister tries to sell their latest scheme. Often, the only thing that isn't dry is the coffee. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to discover that Wednesday's gathering for The Gold Challenge legacy initiative was not a bit like that.

The nursery pavilion at Lord's was heaving, the scattering of time-served and slightly cynical hacks lost in a sea of bright T-shirts, emblazoned with the logos of pretty much every charity you could think of. NSPCC, Oxfam, Combat Stress, St Mungo's, Cancer Research and Red Cross were but a few of the organisations represented.

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2012 coaches face test of courage

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Gordon Farquhar | 21:28 UK time, Tuesday, 9 November 2010

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen" - Winston Churchill.

There has been a lot of discussion about the nature of courage here in St Andrews this week. It's the theme of UK Sport's World Class Performance conference. Gathered are the great and good of elite coaching.

The aim: simply, to help deliver more medals at major championships for British athletes. This year, I'm feeling the heat of expectation beginning to stoke up ahead of the London Olympics.

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