The proposed UEFA two season Champions League ban on Manchester city could have huge implications for Manchester’s night time economy, the region’s night tsar has claimed.
Hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars could all suffer from the loss of the tourism trade the European football tournament brings, Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser Sacha Lord warns: “The impact of UEFA’s ban on City taking part in the Champions League until 2023 cannot be underestimated. We just need to look at Liverpool’s run to the final last year, which brought £479 million into the city, four percent of the region’s gross value added (GVA), to understand the effects this decision could have, not only on the city centre and east Manchester, but across the region.”
“I recently read a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) which said competing for a league title has the potential to increase a city’s economic growth by 1.1 percentage points
“The North West is the most visited region for football tourism – one in ten tourist visits to our region include a match, and as such, the bars, restaurants, hotels and facilities that rely on football tourism in Manchester will undoubtedly feel the pressure he said.
Manchester City were last week banned from European competition for two years (2020/21 and 2021/22) and fined €30 million. It is the second time Manchester City has been punished by UEFA. In 2014, the team agreed to pay a conditional £49m fine as well as accepting restrictions on the size of its squad for European play and incoming transfers.
With Manchester United struggling for a Premier League European place concerns are raised at the prospect of neither club being in any European competitions next term.
“I worry there will be a downturn in the number of local fans who typically fill our pubs to watch matches, celebrate on our streets and use our infrastructure to travel to and from games.
“In addition to the loss of income, we have to recognise jobs will be affected – from bar staff, additional hotel staff, or stadium staff usually required on Champions League match nights.
“It’s a difficult situation, and will clearly be a worrying time for the employees. As Night Time Economy Adviser, and pending the appeal by Manchester City, I’ll be working closely with my team to understand how we can counter the full impacts of the move and best support the businesses that could be affected. Lord added.