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Businesses counting cost of England’s football failings
OXFORDSHIRE businesses have said they are set to lose out as England prepares to play its last game in the World Cup today.
The England team will take on Costa Rica in a game which for them will be meaningless after they were knocked out for failing to pick up a single point from their first two matches.
It means the team is out at the group stage of the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Before the competition kicked-off, businesses across the county were relishing the possibility of a £13m boost in trade but said this is now unlikely to become reality.
Massimo Tenaglia is manager of Eurobar in George Street which is one of 21 venues which were allowed to extend their licence after the Home Office allowed pubs to apply for late licences to stay open until 1am when England matches start at 8pm or later.
He said: “I think it will be much quieter, the same goes with Spain because there are a lot of Spanish in the city.
“With these big teams out of the World Cup it will be quieter, and Portugal’s results haven’t been very good.
“We will see over the next week how things go. Some people get more excited when it gets to the knock-out stages and the final gets closer.”
Will Helsby is owner of The Duke’s Cut in the city centre and The Cowley Retreat in East Oxford.
He said: “From our perspective obviously England going out will definitely see a decrease in trade. It will be interesting to see whether anyone will come to see the game tonight or whether they will be more interested in the Italy v Uruguay game which is on at the same time.”
Before the tournament started, Cumnor-based James Cowper accountants said each person in the county would spend at least £20 more on average during the four-week competition.
Lester Giles, partner of Carterton-based sports shop Giles Sports which sells England replica shirts and merchandise, said he expected business to slow down for the rest of the tournament.
He said: “There won’t be much demand for England merchandise but we have got most of the replica shirts and most of the teams doing well are selling.
“Brazil is probably the second best after England. That shirt always sells well.
“From a professional point of view we would have preferred England to do better but they have got more friendlies coming up through the year so it is not dead money from my customers’ point of view.”
He added: “We have got all the boots the players have been wearing and the children will want them.”
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