Analysts have pointed to pubs as being among the worst hit by the 13-33 loss to Australia alongside shops and broadcasters who were hoping to capitalise on a strong performance from England.
Federation of Licensed Victualler Association director Martin Caffrey told the Sunday Mirror: “This will see a massive loss of business. England games are a big, big bonus for our members because people come in to watch the games.
“It is a similar impact when our football team go out at the World Cups. It equates to a huge loss of revenue.”
British Beer and Pub Association spokesperson Neil Williams said ‘the better England does the better it would be for pubs’ but stressed that there was still a lot of interest in the tournament, especially for home nations like Wales.
The BBPA had previously predicted that the Rugby World Cup would lead to an extra 25 million pints being sold at UK pubs, and said the total turnover for pubs was expected to be around £86m.
MP and pub campaigner Andrew Griffiths tweeted: “The England Rugby team have badly let down our pubs. There is no better place to watch England than in a pub. Unfortunately….”
However, leisure analyst Mark Brumby said that it wasn’t all bad news, with food-led venues emerging relatively unscathed.
The Publican’s Morning Advertiser has spoken to several pubs who say they were disappointed by turnout for the tournament even before England had been knocked out.
Licensees in Gloucester described the first weekend as ‘terrible’ for local pubs, as fans were being herded away from venues and into ‘Fanzones’ with big screens.