England 2018 need to send out an SOS to Gary Lineker to rescue the campaign, according to bid envoy Richard Caborn.
The bid has been thrown into chaos by divisions among directors culminating on Tuesday in Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards quitting the board. Although Lord Triesman has no intention of stepping down as chairman, Caborn, the former sports minister who is the Prime Minister's bid envoy, said former England striker Lineker could bring much-needed unity.
"When Seb Coe was called in for the London Olympic bid, he made a major impact, and I think Gary Lineker can do the same," he told ESPN Soccernet. "He can be football's Seb Coe in this bid. He is a communicator, and I know he would show interest despite all his commitments because I went to the trouble of taking some soundings some time ago."
He added: "Sir Bobby Charlton fronted the 2006 bid that failed, and I think we need a modern-day Sir Bobby, and Gary Lineker is made for the job. He would help unify the bid, as he is popular with the media and would be a popular choice."
Caborn has been effectively sidelined from the bid after falling out with Triesman over the direction of the campaign. Richards, the Premier League chairman and a friend of Caborn's, shares some of his disquiet.
Caborn added: "Everyone wants to win the bid. No one wants to win it more than I do.
"If it means drawing a line under all the internal squabbling, letting bygones be bygones, and for people to bite the bullet a little bit, then we should all do so for the good of the bid.
"Despite all that has been going on behind the scenes, if David Triesman walked through my door tomorrow, I would welcome him and tell him I would continue to do everything I can to help him win the bid, but that he has got to get the bid right."
Talking about Richards, Caborn added: "It ended up that Dave did not have a job with other appointments being made, and he resigned. I could go into graphic detail, but the point is that the FA need to be more inclusive. Most importantly, though, we must all back this bid."
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