England failure to cost UK economy £2bn

A business expert has predicted the British economy could suffer to the tune of £2billion following England's failure to reach Euro 2008.

As well as anticipating lost revenue for the Football Association, Prof Chadwick said: "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 £2billion 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."

Prof Chadwick also looked at the more specific problems England's failure would create for the FA.

"They could miss out on up to £15million in additional revenue that would have been earned from sponsorship deals (many of them performance related), media payments, merchandise sales and prize money," he added.

"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."

Kit maker Umbro also said the impact of England's failure to qualify for next year's tournament would have some effect on revenues in the current financial year. The effect on 2008 will be more pronounced due to a substantial reduction in sales volumes for a new England away jersey.

JJB Sports, the UK's second largest sports retailer, recently pledged to cut its reliance on major tournaments after it reported a halving of interim profits. The company's shares were off 6% today.

Pub companies were also under pressure as firms face the prospect of a summer tournament without the involvement of any of the home nations.

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