Nov 22, 07

England Euro failure to cost country £2 billion


England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 will have far-reaching consequences for the Football Association and the country in general, according to a UK business and marketing expert.

“The FA could miss out on up to £15 million in additional revenue that would have been earned from sponsorship deals - many of them performance related - media payments, merchandise sales and prize money,” says Professor Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry Business School (pictured). “It also puts the Football Association on the back foot as it enters into a new round of sponsorship negotiations with its leading commercial partners such as Nationwide, Carlsberg and National Express.

“For the country as a whole, the failure to qualify is likely to have even more dire consequences. A successful run to the 2008 final would have led to a £2 billion bonanza for the economy. At one level, this would have been the result of sales increases in food and beverages, merchandise, magazines and newspapers and so forth. Evidence from previous tournaments also shows that, at another level, worker productivity normally increases as the England national team progresses through major tournaments and the ‘feel good factor’ takes hold.

“Clearly the fans and players will be feeling the pain of the team’s failure to qualify. For the FA and the economy, however, the feeling will be tangible and real as both will miss out on the financial and economic benefits one normally expects following qualification for a major tournament.”

Last night’s abject performance not only cost Steve McClaren and Terry Venables their jobs, it also had an adverse affect on the share prices of some of the biggest players in the sports trade. England’s kit manufacturer Umbro said it expects a “substantial reduction” in replica England shirt sales, while shares in Sports Direct fell after it announced it was no longer confident its 2007 profits would beat last year’s figures. JJB Sports share price also fell 8.6 per cent.

In a statement, FA chairman Geoff Thompson said: “Like every England fan, we are all bitterly disappointed that we have failed to qualify for Euro 2008, and I know Steve feels that disappointment more than anyone. Of course, we have no divine right to play in major tournaments, but it is quite right that qualification is expected.

“I would like to thank Steve for the work he has done since taking on the position last summer. His commitment to the job could not be questioned and I wish him the best for the future. The recruitment process for the new coach begins now and we will do everything to get the right man for the job.”

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