Grant Thornton says World Cup glory could spark spending spree

Grant Thornton, business and financial advisers says an England victory in the World Cup could lead to an unparalleled boost in consumer spending, as delighted fans celebrate.

However, businesses may feel the strain as workers’ distraction could severely affect productivity.

Any extra spending following a home victory would initially be likely linked to celebrations, England replica shirts and even World Cup memorabilia.

The general feel good factor could then have positive knock on effects across the economy, and non-related sectors may also benefit from any upturn in expenditure.

However, the eight matches which England need to win to be crowned world champions could end up costing the UK 1.26 bn through absent or distracted workers.

This figure includes the cost of fans shying away from work at key times to watch matches live, but also reduced productivity as the tournament unfolds, through office chat about the state of players fitness, controversial incidents and England’s chances of success.

Maurice Fitzpatrick, a senior tax manager at Grant Thornton, says: “The effect on consumers and business of England winning the World Cup are potentially enormous.

The boost of winning will likely see consumers feeling content and optimistic, a mood which often leads to increase in spending.”

Fitzpatrick added: “Many businesses will underestimate the effect on productivity of the World Cup.

The news that matches will be aired live on the internet could mean that this tournament will see record falls in productivity.

Even an early knockout for England would not prevent such losses, with interest focusing on the remaining teams.”

Grant Thornton says one definite winner, will be Gordon Brown. The chancellor can expect a boost in revenues as the tournament will see higher than average consumption of alcohol and cigarettes as well as a peak in those betting on matches.

He will also get a tax slice of any win bonuses the English players are eligible for, upto a reported 300,000 per man if they manage to win the World Cup.