England's potential Euro 2008 demise could have a welcome spin-off for Manchester United fans in South Africa next summer.
It has been confirmed United will compete in the annual Vodacom Challenge, as they did two years ago, which will feature matches against the Kaizer Chiefs and, in all probability, Orlando Pirates at the end of July.
It will be a useful build-up, not only to the new season but South Africa's World Cup planning.
However, on their last visit, the Red Devils were without most of their senior stars who were still recovering from their World Cup exertions.
A similar situation was expected this time around too. But, with England on the brink of elimination in the European Championship qualifiers, it could be that Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville will be among the senior players at Ferguson's disposal for the trip, which is expected to last 10 days.