Amber Taverns managing director James Baer has warned that while the Euros can act as a fillip to the pub sector, a poor performance by England can actually have a detrimental impact on overall trade.
He said England’s disappointing performance against Portugal last night was a reminder of how sporting tournaments can turn sour.
He said: “It will hopefully make a difference having a good representation across the home nations but that’s not going to help enormously if England do very badly. The worst case scenario is if England flop from the start and one of the familiar favourites starts romping to victory. That really strips the life out of the tournament and you can end up doing worse than if the tournament never happened at all.”
He said other challenges included the broad availability of the games on terrestrial television with pubs not traditionally associated with live sport – such as Wetherspoon’s – turning up the volume for the Euros. He said warm weather and supermarket deals would be among the usual challenges.
Amber Taverns this week acquired two new JD Wetherspoon pubs - The Zachariah Pearson in Hull and the Old Angel in Doncaster –both part of the 50-strong package JDW put on the market last summer.
In April Amber took on three JDW pubs – the Edward Rutland in Stourbridge, the Water Poet in Gloucester and the John Capel Hanbury in Pontypool.
Baer said all five would need to be re-named as JDW retains ownership of the pub names as well as the branding.
He said: “We already trade in Doncaster and Hull. We’re some way away in Hull so that wasn’t a huge consideration. We thought long and hard about Doncaster and whether it was going to damage our existing pub but we reasoned that it was better for us to take it on than another competitor.”
The group last night opened the Bull’s Head in Congleton and will launch the Prince of Brewers in Burton just in time for the Euros. The group also has openings for its ‘gin palace’ concept Hogarth’s lined up in Newport and Hereford for the second half of the year.