(Warning: this blog is specifically designed for Infrastructure wonks)

Two great occasions.  Two assemblies of talent, tactics and tenacity.  FIFA gathers in Russia.  NIPA gathers in London.

The Associations might have more in common than a four-letter acronym:

Both bring people together for the good of their members and the public as a whole.

Both value diversity – and probably appreciate they need to do more to encourage it.

Both have strong and recognisable figureheads – although I’d take the affable Angus Walker over the mysterious Gianni Infantino any day.

What really got me thinking about this are the potential comparisons between players and projects –  on this point I should stress that colleagues have suggested that I need to get out more.

But in an unexpected moment when delayed on the Chiltern Line (ironically when thinking about transport infrastructure investment) I started to wonder, if Ronaldo was an NSIP, what NSIP would he be?

And that was the start of this blog.  Here are some of my DCO meets Russia 2018 mash ups:

1. Hinkley Point C = John Stones. Expensive looking but ultimately offers solid and stable delivery for the long term.

2. Manston Airport = Raheem Sterling. Always being talked about but still no end product.

3. Swansea Tidal Lagoon = Mesut Özil. Once showed potential but would be a luxury and doesn’t do enough to deliver real value.

4. North London Heat & Power EfW project = Sergio Ramos. Deals with mountains of rubbish thrown his way but spouts a lot of hot air and doubts in some areas about his emissions.

5. Northampton Gateway / Rail Central = the Lampard / Gerrard conundrum of the NSIP world. Can you play them both together?  If so, in what formation?  Does one ultimately offer you more going forward than the other?

6. Ipswich Rail Chord = Jordan Henderson. Impressively effective at linking everything together while remaining rather low key.  Excellent utility.

So which NSIP is Ronaldo?  Heathrow of course.  Undeniably a huge national asset but very expensive and consistently divides opinion (plus he’s a bit ‘flighty’…)

And which was the easiest comparison to make?  Simple.  Thames Tideway Tunnel = Pepe.  Disruptive.  Over-rated.  Full of ….

Enjoy the World Cup everyone.  Here’s looking forward to some thorough examinations and, as we all hope, a clear, timely and incontestable outcome – and an England win of course.

Any other suggestions, let me know!

Ben Copithorne headshot

Ben Copithorne is a Director at Camargue and has worked on more than six DCOs.