Fleet News

Disposals trade is at Beckham's feet

SUPPORT for England will be mixed during Euro 2004 in the disposals industry, as sales are predicted to slump while Beckham, Gerrard, Owen et al are playing.

The disposal trade is bracing itself for a dip through most of June as buyers swap browsing around used car forecourts for watching the Euro 2004 football tournament, which starts on June 12.

Historically, sales always drop during major football tournaments, and in its June Black Book editorial CAP warns: 'Data suggests that the overall market could be quiet during Euro 2004 and this has indeed been cited as a significant event by disposers and buyers alike.

'It is therefore wise to consider the underlying conditions and all the evidence suggests no fundamental difficulties in the market.'

And how quickly trade returns to normal once the tournament starts depends on how soon England get knocked out. In previous tournaments buyers have come back once England, and all the other home nations, were on the plane home.

A ray of hope is the timing of England games. Graham Smith, BCA's general manager Blackbushe said: 'Our experience of previous major football tournaments would suggest there will be little effect on the day-to-day business, because of the timing of the England matches.

'For Euro 2004, all England games in the first phase are evening or late afternoon kick-offs, while the later rounds are all played in the evening. This means our customers will be able to be home in time for the kick-off.

If England do well, of course then we can expect our English buyers to be in a very good mood – and happy customers are always good for business.'

Fears that it could be a summer of sporting-related discontent on the auction floors have been allayed though: CAP reckons the Olympics will have no effect on sales.

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