Hundreds of millions of spending spend expected this weekend as England face Euros final showdown at Wembley

Hundreds of millions are expected to be spent this weekend as England’s appearance in the Euro 2020 final could provide a much needed “shot in the arm” to the economy hit hard by the pandemic.

The national men's team’s first appearance in a major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup victory tomorrow will fill pubs and living rooms up and down the land, as fans hope to cheer the Three Lions to victory.

According to data from the Centre for Retail Research and Vouchercodes.co.uk, £358 million is set to be spent on snacks and drinks for people to watch the match against Italy from their sofa, while £180 million is expected to be splashed out in hospitality venues alone on Sunday - a 12.5% increase from Wednesday's semi-final.

Football finance expert Dr Rob Wilson from Sheffield Hallam University described the event - expected to attract an audience of millions - as a “shot in the arm” for some businesses and he thinks bars and restaurants will be full in the days before the match.

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England's Harry Kane and team-mates celebrate winning the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final match at Wembley Stadium, London (Mike Egerton/PA)

He told The Yorkshire Post: “Bars and restaurants will be doing more business this week than they probably have done before, you tend to find this is kind of feelgood factor that surges,” he explained.

However, Dr Wilson described the overall economic impact of the match to be “fairly neutral” as people substitute their weekend plans to fit around Sunday’s late game and the country misses out on cash brought in by travelling fans.

He said: “Anybody that chooses to spend on football or football related activity is doing that at the expense of something else.

“So if you and I go to the pub on Sunday to watch the game, we're choosing to watch the game and spend our money at the pub, rather than going to the cinema, for instance, or going shopping, or having our hair done or something like that. So the money is the same, it's just getting recirculated in a different way.”

His sentiments were echoed by University of Liverpool football economics expert Kieran Maguire, who anticipated a “switch of spending” this weekend.

He explained: “If we’re still going to spend a fortune on alcohol and burgers this weekend we still aren’t going to get paid until the end of July. So what are you going to do next weekend, you say oh well looking at the bank balance can’t afford to go out.”

While Covid travel bans mean that the country could have missed out on an economic boost of hundreds of millions from travelling supporters, strong representation from Yorkshire in the side could reignite interest in grassroots teams across the county.

Mr Maguire said that the popularity of the team “reflects well” on the areas they call home. “Historically we’ve always said a strong Yorkshire cricket club is good for England,” he explained.

“Well clearly the mantra over this summer could be that strong recruitment from Yorkshire is good for the England football team.”

The team’s defence is dominated by three South Yorkshire born players, with John Stones, from Barnsley, alongside Harry Maguire, from Sheffield, at its centre and Kyle Walker, also from the Sheffield, on the right.

Kalvin Phillips, born and raised in Leeds and still playing for the city’s United squad - has also won plaudits in the centre of midfield for Gareth Southgate's side.

Calling the 26-man squad “extremely likeable” Mr Maguire went on: “Yorkshire is both a football and cricket mad county already and I think the links to the roots of these players (...) every time you see the players when they’ve been seen training together when they’ve been interviewed, they just come across as very well grounded extremely pleasant young men and that reflects well on the areas where they’ve grown up.

“I think for the schools they went to, for the youth teams that they played for they will be leveraging on this and rightly so because they potentially played a part in creating history for the country and there will be an upsurge in terms of young kids wanting to play for their local clubs.”