Italian Fabian Capello might be leading England’s efforts on the field but
over at PwC it’s head of sport Julie Clark who will be helping manage England’s
bid for the 2018 World Cup – and the ref has only just blown the whistle for
Her 14-strong line-up is keen to see England win, even though it contains two
Scots and a German.
Briefly, England 2018 will use PwC as its primary business adviser for the
World Cup tender.
With Ernst & Young backing the 2010 Ryder Cup and Deloitte the 2012
Olympics, Julie Clark has sown up PwC’s role in attempting to bring the world’s
second biggest sporting event to the UK.
Clark started her career with the East of England Tourist Board where she was
responsible for stimulating investment in tourism through the provision of
financial assistance, and for advising public and private sector clients on
development and marketing issues.
As an avid supporter of Ipswich Town, some might question her football
expertise but, fortunately for Clark, her passion for the game does not end
there. Her career includes involvement in the Arsenal move from Highbury to the
Emirates Stadium. Other parts of PwC’s football portfolio are impressive too.
The firm has managed due diligence reviews for investors in clubs such as
Liverpool, Aston Villa and West Ham and has assisted a number of debt funders to
understand the risks and options for the oh-so-many football clubs carrying way
too much debt.
The World Cup bid is a big win for the firm, though it will be played at home
and away. It will be an opportunity to leverage the firm’s expertise in
providing economic impact assessment, guidance on tax and guarantees, and advice
on the budget to help the bid team.
What happens next?
The next few years will hold challenges for Clark. Not only will she have to
demonstrate her sporting prowess, but PwC will also have to prove themselves to
the industry. Being associated with such big names can fling individuals into
the limelight so only the future will reveal how well Clark keeps her cool amid
what are sure to be a lot of dangerous tackles. This will be more pertinent as
no project of this size comes without risks, although there will be different
pressures to those affecting the massive infrastructure projects involved in the
The success of the campaign will be forever linked with PwC as an
institution. Being involved with the national obsession in such a high-profile
campaign could risk major embarrassment if things don’t go well.
But this is a game of two halves. This is just about winning the bid. The
really tricky bit is way off in the distance. But, with a potential economic
benefit of £3.2bn, Clark will want to make sure the team is on the pitch for the
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