simon_chadwick-Professor Simon Chadwick, Director, Centre for the International Business of Sport, Coventry, UK. The opinions expressed are his own. -

There is a famous song, composed in the run-up to UEFA Euro 96, in which the Lightening Seeds, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel refer to England’s 30 years of hurt (the period at the time since England won its one and only World Cup).

England recently took a step closer towards addressing their continued failure to win world football’s biggest prize, by beating Croatia 5-1 to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In so doing, the team also overcame its two years of hurt, following a failure to qualify for Euro 2008 at the hands of their Croatian rivals.

While the fervent mood amongst passionate English fans and patriots alike will no doubt grow as we progress towards the start of the tournament in June 2010, there is likely to be much more action off the pitch than there is on it – and not necessarily just in England, in all of the countries that have teams which qualify for South Africa.

Indeed, as we get closer to the 11th June kick-off, World Cup micro-economies will start emerging domestically and internationally across the world.