Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sick as a Parrot

It's not just Steve McLaren, the luckless or possibly hapless England football manager who will be feeling sick as a parrot this morning as he collects his P45 from the FA - many British businesses will also be feeling a tad frustrated at England's failure to qualify for the European championship finals. The team played with all the cogency and coherence of the Kazakh reserve team - they deserved to lose.

According to the Coventry Business School (who have many vacancies available for a January start by the way - both undergraduate and postgraduate) England's exit may cost British business as much as £2bn - severely reducing aggregate demand in the UK economy next June.

Firstly, there are shirt manufacturers - all those England football shirts are now valueless. Ironically, mine turned up in the post today - the day after our exit - after having been held up somewhere in the postal strike. C'est la vie! As I walked home from New Bellerbys yesterday, I also noticed Sport & Ski now had England shirts on sale for £20, reduced from £35 the day before. They'll be lucky to sell them at 20p! And as for the new England reserve strip due out in January - well, all I can say is that Nike must be kicking themselves for having bought up England shirt manufacturers Umbro a couple of weeks ago - not exactly the deal of the century. (Note to all data mining software: the key words here are: 'Sell Nike shares now')

Then there are the pubs and clubs - no packed pubs during the long summer evenings with roaring fans, drinking contests and open wallets. The tour companies will also suffer as hundreds of thousands of fans suddenly cancel their trips to Austria for the the finals. (On the other hand, non-soccer playing tourist centres like India and Thailand, might suddenly find more tourists arriving.)

And then there are the plastic flag manufacturers - what will become of them? Perhaps now's a good time to ask for a quote for a Bellerbys plastic flag?

The advertising industry will suffer as prices will plummet for slots during the half-time breaks at the championship in the UK......and with less people watching, the TV industry will also suffer generally.....and with less adverts being watched, businesses as a whole may make less sales - who knows how far aggregate demand will fall. As the UK enters a period of slower growth, the England loss couldn't have come at a worse time. Steve McLaren's tactical ineptitude may make him personally responsible for the collapse of the UK economy. I hope he's happy now.

Booksellers will gain, however, as English people, driven to distraction by the sense of humiliation at our absence from the tournament - our hopes trampled into the dust by countries my wife has never even heard of - try to lock out the world for a couple of weeks by reading a good book. One I recommend is "The Economics of Sport & the Media" by Claude Jeanrenaud - ask the librarian to get it for you. She'll be pleased to do so.


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