Mike Rowbottom ©ITG

The decision by the general assembly of Munich City Council to apply for the European Championships in 2022 has been widely welcomed.

If all now goes according to plan, it will mean the reprise of the idea which came together, pretty much triumphantly, last year.

The new, all-action multi-sport European Championships that were co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin from August 2 to 13 were the notion of sports marketing experts Marc Jörg and Paul Bristow. 

And it now seems that a continental sporting version of second album syndrome has been successfully resolved.

Jörg and Bristow were co-founders and directors of European Championships Managenent, which developed the concept for the new event and contracted with seven European Sports Federations, the European Broadcasting Union and the host cities.

Supported by Europe's free-to-air broadcasters, the event pulled together the existing senior continental championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing, triathlon and golf, in the form of a new Team Championships format.

Cycling was one of six sports that held its European Championships in Glasgow last year within a new multi-sports format that looks set to be repeated in Munich in 2022 ©Getty Images
Cycling was one of six sports that held its European Championships in Glasgow last year within a new multi-sports format that looks set to be repeated in Munich in 2022 ©Getty Images

The shape of the inaugural, and it was hoped quadrennial, multi-sport European Championships was determined by the fact that the European Athletics Championships were already committed to being held in Berlin while Glasgow was able to accommodate the six other sports that would be involved.

Before this new format got underway I conversed with the pair who had run the idea up the flagpole and got everyone to salute it. And they seemed equable about the fact that the next version, in 2022, might also be shared.

"There is very much an open-minded approach about whether the 2022 Championships is hosted by one host city, region, or more," said Bristow.

"We have seen how the two world-class sporting and cultural cities of Glasgow and Berlin have embraced their partnership, so a dual city concept has certainly not been ruled out for the future.

"It is the first multi-sport European Championships so all of the stakeholders will be looking at Glasgow and Berlin to evaluate the best way forward, to take lessons from the first one to make the second edition stronger.

"It is a new major multi-sport event which requires commitments at all levels of local, regional and national Government.

"But we believe the stakeholders have created a Championships that is attractive to a wide range of cities, without adding to the calendar of European sport."

Bristow added: "The stakeholders are already in discussions with potential host cities for 2022 and will negotiate on a bilateral basis until a suitable candidate is found.

"There will not be a rigid, formal bid process.

The European Athletics Championships are set to return - within the new multi-format - to Munich, where Britain's Paula Radcliffe won a monumental, rainswept 10,000m victory in 2002 ©Getty Images
The European Athletics Championships are set to return - within the new multi-format - to Munich, where Britain's Paula Radcliffe won a monumental, rainswept 10,000m victory in 2002 ©Getty Images

"There is genuine interest from cities and countries in the opportunity of hosting the 2022 and 2026 editions, and even the 2030 version."

While last year's European Championships were sailing by, with Berlin's 1936 Olympic Stadium witnessing some truly monumental nights of athletics, interest was already being expressed vis-à-vis the next version.

Perhaps envious of all the neighbouring fuss, it was other areas of Germany that raised their collective hands.

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, already planning a bid for the 2032 Olympics, announced an interest in staging a multi-sport European Championships that would serve as an ideal rehearsal and demonstration ten years earlier.

Hamburg also announced it was "very interested" in hosting a future version.

In November 2015 Hamburg had dropped out of the bidding for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics following a public referendum in which almost 52 per cent of voters were against the idea.

But feedback from the inaugural multi-sport European Championships, including encouraging indications on viewing figures from German TV broadcasters ARD and ZDF, prompted renewed interest from Germany's West European port-city of 1.8 million people.

There was also a suggestion that Berlin, having revelled in the athletics, might come back for even more sports four years later.

But now it is Munich, host of the 1972 Olympics, host of the 2002 European Athletics Championships, which has stepped up to the plate.

The flexibility of the bidding process has been mirrored by the negotiations that have taken place in Munich. According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, the City authorities are now able to approve the estimated €130 million (£112 million/$148 million) required to support the event, which will be shared between three stakeholder bodies.

Given its hosting background, the city, with its well-equipped Olympic Park, looks more than capable of supporting a range of sports concurrently.

Which sports those will be remain to be seen, although you can bank on athletics being there, given the enthusiastic welcome the announcement received on the Twitter account of the ebullient European Athletics President, Svein Arne Hansen.

"The next edition is based on the same configuration of sports for the moment," Bristow said before the inaugural event got underway.