Failure To Qualify For '14 World Cup Could Spell "Dire Consequences" For England's FA
The England men's national soccer team remains in jeopardy of failing to qualify for next summer's FIFA World Cup for the first time since '94, something that would "have serious implications" for the Football Association's bank balance, according to Simon Hart of the London TELEGRAPH. The organization by qualifying for the tournament is "guaranteed" at least $12.1M (all figures U.S.), the "minimum amount for teams eliminated in the group stage based on FIFA’s recent announcement" of a 33% increase in prize money from the '10 World Cup in South Africa. If England does reach the event, the FA would "certainly be expecting a financial bonanza from the dozens of licensing agreements it would sign with retailers and manufacturers." A source said that the NGB could stand to make at least $15.1M "from the demand for merchandise, principally from the royalties it would receive on replica England shirts." Nike is due to "unveil a new kit in the summer and shirt sales are predicted to top one million if England make it to the finals." Hart notes the FA "works in four-year World Cup cycles when it comes to signing England commercial deals," meaning current contracts with Vauxhall, Umbro, Mars, Carlsberg, Lucozade, Nivea and Marks and Spencer "all expire at the same time at the end of the World Cup." Umbro, Carlsberg and Mars "are long-standing commercial partners whom the FA would be hopeful of retaining even if England fail to qualify for Brazil." The FA makes more than $75.7M million a year "from its commercial deals, a crucial part of its overall income." But brandRapport Sports Marketing Dir Nigel Currie warned that failure to qualify for Brazil "could have dire consequences." England currently is second in their group with four matches remaining in the qualifying period (London TELEGRAPH, 3/28).