Trade confident of World Cup sales boost

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: South africa, 2010 fifa world cup, England

Pubs are gearing up for a major boost to trade next summer when England compete in the World Cup finals in South Africa. The team's 5-1 victory over...

Pubs are gearing up for a major boost to trade next summer when England compete in the World Cup finals in South Africa.

The team's 5-1 victory over Croatia at Wembley on September 9 saw England qualify with two matches to spare.

With South Africa just one hour ahead of British Summer Time, matches will kick off from 2.30 pm to 9.30pm here.

While the trade will have wait until the draw, in Cape Town on December 4, for details of England's schedule, it's never too soon to start planning.

Martin Snow, licensee at the British Volunteer in Weybridge, Surrey, said: "I'm already planning to put in an extra plasma screen so there'll be a good view right around the pub.

"We always a get a good crowd in for England games - there are quite a few girls as well as the blokes, so it's a good atmosphere. And the timings are perfect because of the one hour difference - matches won't be kicking off too early or too late."

The failure of any British clubs to qualify for Euro 2006, combined with a damp squib of a summer and the aftermath of the smoking ban, was a major blow to the trade.

Paul Smith, licensee at the Three Tuns pub in Gateshead, said: "It's about time we had some good news. It's been pretty clear England would qualify for a while, so the excitement has been building.

"We're a big football pub, and we'll be getting right behind the World Cup - flags, banners, the whole works. This will be the ​place to watch matches for the local community.

"We used to run 'a 50p a pint until the first goal' promotion during big games, but of course the local constabulary frown on that now, so we'll have to come up with something else."

Ted Docherty, who runs the Tailor Made Steaks pub group - as well as being a South African - said: "We'll be looking to do an upmarket package, maybe a three-course meal during the match."

He also predicted plenty of support for England from the host nation. "All the Premiership matches get shown in South Africa. Once South Africa has exited - and if we get to the quarter finals we'll be doing very well - a lot of the home crowd will switch their support to England."

Neil Williams, communications manager for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said: "In 2006, we estimated that the World Cup generated an extra £124 million in beer sales every week that England was in the tournament.

"We haven't done the maths yet, but we'll be hoping for at least that next year."

Related topics: Sport

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