Date: 13th October 2009 at 9:11am
Written by:

From Vital England:

Birmingham is one of 16 cities currently vying to be one of the final 12 selected as host cities for England’s world cup bid, but what does it have to offer?

We find out, as we ask Mike Field what they think it can bring to the table for the world cup bid…

1) Birmingham has applied to be a host city, what are the pros of this?
Well it means London won’t hog it. It means those in Moss Side can concentrate on their own affairs instead of trying to improve gang relations and more importantly we are Birmingham. The Black Country accent may be a little weird, but we all don’t share it…and it’s certainly not as daft as that clipped Cockney, or the permanently surprised Scouse.

We have access for everybody around the country. We have a thriving night life in the centre of Brum, hotels, bars, entertainment joints that are second to non.

It’s not about what Brummagem (spelling) offers ultimately, it’s about where does the rest of the country beat us in terms of facilities, entertainment, geographical placement and more importantly let’s face it. You meet decent Brummies around the world, salt of the earth, love sport and accept everyone.

Where else offers such a community?

2) And the cons?
Hopefully St Andrews will be discounted, we still have parts of Birmingham that need to be brought into the 16th Century, let alone the 21st.

3) Is Villa Park up to the task of staging a world cup game at the moment – if not will it come 2018/2022?
Not yet truth be told, we could do with a better capacity and some areas of the ground leave ‘things’ to be desired. But if the question is honestly ‘will it come’ absolutely. After years of decline we are on the up. It’s not going to be an easy ride on the pitch, but off the pitch Randy Lerner seems adamant he will make Villa Park and our facilities one of the best in the world.

He’s done so much in a short few years, I think it would be naive to think in the next decade we can’t be the focal stadium in the country short of Wembley itself.

4) What is Birmingham most famous for?
Balti’s? Jonathan Fear? Aston Villa? Me (I’m more well known than I’d like but for the wrong reasons sadly). Erm UB40, Black Sabbath… see I can’t make a choice, Brum is best for far too many reasons.

5) What would it mean to you to see the world cup converge on Birmingham if successful?
Now that’s tough. Personally not a lot. I think international football is a commercial joke that interrupts why we are all fans – club football. But given the fact too many people are finally invested in making their own gains from such competition – Birmingham is probably one of the most successful areas of the country when it comes to being multicultural and accepting strangers, least it is in my experience. As an event, I can’t think of anything greater than going to Waterstone’s to pick up whatever new novel is launched that implies I’m intelligent and then being surrounded by a bunch of semi drunken, Englishly illiterate foreigners who just want to bounce around and enjoy the experience of scaring the crap out of me by carrying my body half way down a street for no good reason.

Before dropping me, saying something in a foreign tongue and moving on. Life is experience, Brum is culturally appropriate and in the PC world we live in….moments of madness when the desire is ‘fun’ shouldn’t be underestimated.

6) Come on, hand on heart, tinted specs off, totally unbiased view will Birmingham be successful with the host city bid?
Yes. As much as any other City in this country. Let’s face it things will go wrong. We’ll have idiots, idiots will come from other parts of the country or Small Heath and be an annoyance.

But as the Countries second city, often maligned, often ignored and very often insulted…there is truly no better place in my eyes. Financially we have no congestion charge. Morally we don’t talk like Scousers, or Mancunians. We have no beaches that are secret health hazards, and more importantly….where in this country is more accepting of different ways of life.

Brum is the perfect place, we are accessible to all those who want to take in a game, and we are used to accepting people with different views, different ways of life, and different ideas of life than our own.

We take them into our arms and we don’t judge.

If 2022 is to be a meeting of cultures, with a common desire, a common aim and a common enjoyment….point out any other part of the country that is better and I’ll prove you wrong. Centre of England, it’s about time we were the centre of the World because personally we can carry it off and in terms of facilities we can carry it off.

7) Most importantly, do you think that England will be successful with the 2018/2022 world cup bid anyway?
Erm no. We are struggling to deal with the Olympics, how the hell will we cope with another one. Get Germany to pay for it, and Brum could host it perfectly well.

8) Anything else you want to add?
Considering events like this usually lose money, why do we bother?

Other than that it’s time for my bed, and I just hope readings understand when this gets published isn’t the time of the day I’m going to bed.

Or I’ll appear really lazy, and whilst that might true….well I’ve just buggered my own argument.

Full article: England – What Birmingham has to offer.