As Euro 2012 got underway in the midst of an economic crisis the famous sporting cry of “show me the money” from the film Jerry Maguire is as relevant as the action on the field.
Host countries Poland and Ukraine have invested heavily particularly on infrastructure – stadiums and road and rail links.
Poland has spent 25 billion euros and Ukraine 11 billion euros. The research firm Capital Economics said that has already boosted GDP growth for both by 1.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.
In visitor terms Ukraine “won the draw” receiving fans from Germany, England and the Netherlands in the Group Stages.
Poland hosts Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain – countries where the crisis is biting deepest, hitting visitor numbers and how much they spend.
It is worth noting that the last two winners of the competition – Spain four years ago and Greece in 2008 – are in dire economic straights.
This year’s victor must be hoping there is no connection.