Sexstone: No Tesco = No World Cup

September 10, 2009

Colin Sexstone told me today explicitly that no new stadium meant no world cup. He has previously said that no Tesco would mean no stadium and Bristol City would stay where they were. So, no Tesco = no World Cup.

This is the first time (to my knowledge) someone involved at the top of the bid has made this link explicitly.

Edit: If there is anyone who still doubts this, despite the mountain of evidence to contrary, here’s the council’s deputy leader Simon Cook:

Come on – surely no-one can now say the two are not explicitly linked? The bid team haven’t wanted to make this link outright until now, for whatever reason, but surely it is now plain to see?



  1. Well I must say that you’ve let yourself down there Jones.

    You’ve clearly tried to trick Sexstone into linking the two by throwing in Tesco but your actual question was “if for any reason the STADIUM didn’t get approval could we still go ahead with the World Cup”.

    All he’s actually said is that the NEW STADIUM is needed for the World Cup – we know that. We also know that Tesco is a HUGE chunk of the funding for the new stadium.

    But the club have not said “Tesco or no World Cup”. It may well be that no Tesco does mean no World Cup but the club have kept the two very much separate all along.

    This is my whole point – the Berate group have been putting words in their mouth and now you have to.

    As far as “professional journalist” goes you’ve not been very professional on this one. That’s not meant as personal as it may come across Jones because I’m sure you’re a very good journalist etc. But that was underhand and poor form. The kind of spin I’d expect in The Sun or over the dispatch box rather than someone trying to declare neutrality.

    • Sarah, I have asked you before to identify yourself. As I said, some people have suggested you may have a professional reason for wanting to disbelieve the truth, such as working for an interested party (Tesco perhaps).

  2. What Martin has done is perfectly legitimate and valid. He asked questions to which Sexstone replied saying ‘no Tesco = no new stadium’ and ‘no new stadium = no World Cup in Bristol’. To put two and two together to make four (or more precisely to say ‘if x = y and y = z, then x = z) is hardly ‘underhand’ or ‘poor form’ as Sarah Owens claims. It is simple, irrefutable logic. To all intents and purposes Sexstone has said ‘no Tesco = no World Cup’.

  3. Sexstone told the Post on June 22:

    It [Tescos] will be an independent decision. But Bristol’s World Cup ambitions, £100m of investment, eight years of promotion and a festival of previously unseen proportions in this city hang completely on that decision.

    No Tesco = No World Cup has always been the agenda.

    • Interesting to see that quote. I interviewed Sexstone before though and he didn’t want to make that statement anywhere near as explicitly.

  4. Look Sarah, you’re just plain wrong here.

    I haven’t got Colin saying as a quote “No Tesco = No World Cup”, but he has said things that add up to exactly that. As a journalist, I have to try to make sense of things that people say and contextualise them, which I have done here.

    Context is everything. If someone says “I didn’t drink any alcohol today” you can only make sense of that quote if you know that they used to be a heavy drinker. If they were a monk it’s irrelevant.

    Here, Colin’s quote that no stadium = no world cup is contextualised by the fact that he previously said no Tesco = no stadium.

    If you can’t see that then I can only assume you have some professional reason for trying to refute what is obviously true.

    Furthermore, I also interviewed Simon Cook today and he does said that if either the Tesco plan or the stadium plan is turned down, then the world cup bid will fail. I’ll append that clip to my post above.

  5. Oddly, there’s a Sarah Owens quoted in this article in the Indy:

    “That’s exactly how I got into the business,” laughs Sarah Owens, the managing director of direct marketing recruitment specialists Direct Recruitment, “but the image of direct marketing has certainly improved out of all recognition since then, as companies like Tesco have got involved.”

    Surely it can’t be same person?

    • Surely not.

  6. First of all, no that’s nothing to do with me. I have nothing to do with Direct Marketing Recruitment and never have done…not even 12 years ago.

    I live in Southville. I do not have any professional interest and have never worked at Tesco. I have shopped there but rarely. I’m not a football fan although I’m one of those annoying “fans of Bristol” and due to living here I guess I like City to do well but I don’t watch and I could not name players. I’ve been drawn into this debate a little and followed it as I am of the opinion that the football club performing well and having the new stadium will be of great help to Bristol and the area.

    So back to the issue:

    – Jones you admit you don’t have the quote but you do have the headline “Sexstone: No Tesco = No World Cup”

    – Your story said “This is the first time (to my knowledge) someone involved at the top of the bid has made this link explicitly.” – yet he has not made the link explicitly. I’m sure you understand the word so be careful with it. The worst you can accuse him of an IMPLICIT link. The word ‘explicit’ is definitely wrong.

    – We KNOW the World Cup needs the new stadium. That’s obvious and never been questioned so why are you trying to trick Mr. Sexstone into making a further link? There is nothing new here and it’s all been said before.

    – You said in a post yesterday “Colin Sexstone has avoided directly linking the Tesco to the World Cup bid in interviews”…which he STILL has avoided. So why the “news” story? Nothing has changed.

    – Of course there is a link between new stadium and Tesco and Tesco and World Cup but it’s only Berate (and you) making the “Tesco – World Cup” connection. This is important because you can’t turn around and say the club are bullying the council about World Cup. They are not. They could make a direct link if they wanted to but they have been very careful to avoid this and let the World Cup bid deal with itself and therefore can only be accused of “deliberately NOT linking Tesco with the World Cup”.

    Look I’m not one that’s going to cry if there is no new stadium or a new Tesco but I don’t think Tesco would cause any harm to this area and I do think it would be an important enabler for the new stadium. I do get annoyed by people putting words in people’s mouths, I do get annoyed by totally wrong facts and I do get annoyed with stories being “invented” or twisted. I’ve probably become more wound up over the reporting in this case than the topic itself if that makes sense. But yeah – Sexstone’s interview was nothing new, not a news story and the link was not explicit.

    You also tried to make the link between the two with Tony Robinson “So logically, anyone who supports the World Cup bid must also support the Tesco bid.”. Well that’s not the case. Robinson could potentially hate the prospect of the Tesco but think that if it and the stadium go ahead then he would definitely want the World Cup bid. More realistically he probably hasn’t looked through the planning application, doesn’t know the full facts and so has backed away from it – but does know that the World Cup would be great. That’s fair enough.

  7. As far as I understand it, BERATE have been trying to avoid any link between Tesco and the stadium, so would further avoid a link between Tesco and the world cup bid.

    I’m therefore not sure where Sarah gets her original assertion from.

    It is in no way in the interests of opponents of Tesco for the link to be there because a new stadium is obviously popular with the fans, and the chance of a chance of a chance of a world cup match or two is also seemingly popular.

  8. OK, we’ll have to agree to disagree. As far as I’m concerned it is and always will be one of the important functions of journalism to join the dots for people.

    Here, he hasn’t said exactly what I’ve put in the headline (and I haven’t put it in quotes for that reason), but he has said things that add up to that.

    If journalists don’t join the dots like this, all you’re left with is reportage. And, though that is important, journalism must be much more than just that.

    And I’m grateful that you’re concerned about the reporting of this story. Perhaps you should turn your attentions to the big media outlets which are refusing to cover the real details of this story and have resorted to flag-waving acquiescence, specifically the Evening Post.

    Also, you’ve changed your tune a bit. Yesterday you were saying it wasn’t true that no Tesco = no World Cup. Now you’re saying it’s old news and we knew it anyway. Make your mind up – both can’t be true.

  9. I like to be right. Check this out.

  10. How can you be against 800 permanent jobs (and no jobs lost anywhere else as a consequence; there can’t be any because City don’t say there might be. You can ignore that biased so-called report the Council commissioned)?

    Why do you hate Bristol? Don’t you realise that the poor, downtrodden people of Ashton and Southville can’t possibly be expected to drag themselves all the way to Sainsburys, Aldi, Lidl or Asda? And guaranteeing that the World Cup will come here (it’s a shoe-in, surely?) by replacing all that useless green belt land with a stadium and car park will generate almost as many opportunities for local businesses as the MacDonalds Olympics will to London in 2012; you’re throwing it all away.

  11. Ha ha ha. I thought you were being serious for a moment.

    The funny thing is Pete, your p155-take does sound very similar to some of the stuff being written elsewhere, on the BERATE blog and the EP website.

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