It’s Coming Home — an economic recovery, that is
Sunday could be the end of a 55-year nightmare for those that believe that England is the rightful home of football.
And, for the rest of the world that does not believe that, it will be the start of their own nightmare of having to listen to England fans around the world singing a 26 year old pop song over and over.
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming. Football’s coming home!
The most loved and hated international football team in the world is finally in a final. Speaking as someone who grew up in a home that had a photo of the Queen in the sitting room, you can probably guess where my cheering interests are. However, speaking as someone who exists online and sees how…confident England fans have been (without much backing for that confidence, it must be said) over those 55 years, I can also understand if you will be cheering for Italy on Sunday.
But, this isn’t the space for an analysis of whether Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling can finish the job. There are plenty of places where you can find that. No, my interest is on what England playing in a final might mean for the economy of the United Kingdom (simmer down, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — I know you’re on the side of the Italians too — but for the purpose of this article we are going to focus on the whole country, rather than the nation of England).
That is something that should concern anyone, as, for better or worse, the UK is still a major economic driver in the world.
And, it’s a country that has had a bit of a rough go of late. Brexit hasn’t exactly gone smoothly and the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Island particularly hard.
The thing about the economy is that understanding it has as much to do with understanding human psychology as it does with math. When people are happy they spend more and that, in turn, drives economic recovery.
We saw this three years ago when this group of England players got to the semi-finals of Russia 2018. That was a high water performance since 1990 and according to research by the Centre for Retail Research it was found that it drove an extra billion quid in spending.
That’s a lot of pints. And, no doubt a lot of it was spent on booze. The English like to drink and we saw that this week where The British Beer and Pub Association reported that 6.8 million pints were sold during the England-Denmark semi-final match on Wednesday.
You can expect it to be more on Sunday. Especially in Scotland to dull the pain if England wins, I suspect.
That’s a short term gain, of course. What’s harder to measure is what the long term meaning will be. Even if England wins on Sunday, you’re still going to have to get up to go to work on Monday.
But, as stated, happy people spend money and after the year that the UK has had I think it’s fair to suggest that a win Sunday could propel a summer of spending.
And, that’s good news for everyone, even if you hate England’s football team.
(Come on England!)