England kick off their World Cup aspirations very shortly and pubs across the land have been preparing for a hopeful influx of patriotic drinkers on match days. One man has gone even further than ensuring TV’s are working properly and cellars full of barrels. Phil Taylor, landlord of the Kings Head in Loddon, Norfolk has repainted one wall of his pub with a massive England flag. A bit extreme you might think but he is one patriotic gentleman who also has an eye on trying to profit from the football spectacular about to unfold-and why shouldn’t he?

Phil says that since the smoking ban he is £68,000 per year DOWN on takings.

He’s ignored the obvious recession-good man!

He’s ignored the cheapo supermarket booze idea-good man!

He’s ignored the much vaunted ‘Beer Tie’ as well-good man!

He puts his struggling position firmly at the door of the smoking ban-good man!

£68,000 per annum equals £1,307.69p per week lost trade-that is one hell of a loss. How does he keep going I ask? His patriotic fervour was reported to the local council within minutes of completing the painting but at least South Norfolk council have used a semblance of common sense and given him eight weeks to restore the wall to its original colour. Three years ago 5.600 more establishments would have been ‘gearing up’for the World Cup, but sadly they are no more. Three years ago smokers and non smokers stood side by side in our boozers shouting encouragement at the screen but this time round the smokers will mainly stay at home with their fags & cans, much to the detriment of the pubs. England, oh England, where for art thou? Times of past enjoyments are nothing but a distant memory!

Perhaps the council have realised that if the pub closes valuable revenue will be lost.

Perhaps this new coalition government ought to consider such as well, only on a nationwide basis!