World Cup 2018 bid cost the Football Association £21m

Sepp Blatter
Russia won 13 votes in the second round to win the rights to host 2018

England's failed 2018 World Cup bid cost £21m, according to the latest Football Association accounts.

England lost out to Russia for the tournament last December, attracting only two votes - including that of Briton Geoff Thompson.

The FA accounts show that although net spending was £14m, the total expenditure over two years was £21m.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson told the Leaders in Football conference last week that the investment was £15m.

Robertson said: "When I look back on it now, I wish we had the gumption or the knowledge to realise at a very early stage that Fifa wanted something fundamentally different than what we were putting on the table.

"I wish we had had foresight to appreciate that earlier in order to stop the investment of £15m."

Local authorities from bidding cities provided £2.5m with a further £4.5m coming from sponsors.

England's spending per vote won was the worst of any bidding country apart from Australia, who spent £28m on their 2022 campaign and won just a single vote.

The 2022 tournament was awarded to awarded to Qatar.

The annual report shows that The FA's total cash balances increased by £10m during the year and now stand at £75m, with England earning £7m from their World Cup performance in South Africa.

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