By Bilal Zaidi
The cost of England not making it to this summer’s European Championships could be around £2 Billion to the UK economy. According to the British Retail Consortium, the retail figures for beer, flat-screen TVs and fast food during the tournament would typically be around £600 million but that figure has been dismissed by experts who said a more realistic number would be £2 billion.
Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry Business School, told the Daily Mail that the probable loss is more than three times that figure: “Evidence from previous tournaments shows that worker productivity normally increases as the England national team progresses through major tournaments and the ‘feel good factor’ takes hold. A successful run to the 2008 finals would have led to a £2billion bonanza for the economy,” he said.
While those who do not follow football may feel relieved that the country won’t be gripped by Euro fever next year, the impact on the economy should not be underplayed. Research has shown that sporting events contribute to three percent of the Gross Domestic Product each year and during World Cup and Euro football matches, takings in pubs, clubs and supermarkets rise by £35 million.
During last year’s World Cup in Germany, supermarkets across Britain were taking an extra £124 million during each week England remained in the tournament while Sainsbury’s reported a 70 per cent increase in beer sales during England matches.
Although the FA’s Chief Executive put the figure at around £5 million, experts have said that this is grossly underestimated as media payments, merchandising sales and sponsorship deals would have brought in around £15 million.
The negative multiplier effect of England not even being in the tornament will carry through to many industries. The BBC who outbid Sky to show the matches in the summer alongside ITV will also be gobsmacked, with England or any of the other UK’s representatives within the tornament, the BBC can expect lower viewing figures and therefore lower advertising incomes from this event. Lets hope Arsenal can make up for the huge dissapointment on Wednesday and do one over Wigan today. A full preview to come later on today.