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Charlie Mullins: Winning the World Cup should be an economic priority

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Sadly that wasn’t to be and while all the pundits have thrown their two-pennies worth of footballing experience into the debate, perhaps the answer to our woes on the pitch lie in the world of business.

By that I mean why don’t we treat our national sport like a business and give ourselves half a chance of realising our undoubted potential?

Time and again we send our team to the World Cup or Euros, and every time they disappoint with their inept and passionless performances. But should we really be so disappointed when year in, year out, the closest we have to a business plan for success is get 11 blokes to run out onto the pitch and hope they can win?

No business has ever made a quid with a model based around hoping for the best.

I mention ‘making a quid’ because in today’s sporting environment our leading sporting teams are a crucial part of the economy, or at least they should be.

All of us are the shareholders in the England team, and therefore have an interest in the commercial boom that would follow a good showing on the pitch at a World Cup. I’ve seen various estimates of how much consumers would have spent if England had got beyond the group stages, with some figures suggesting up to £1billion would have left the pockets of the public.

That is why it’s a national economic priority for the FA to get professional and actually build a strategy to deliver FA chairman Greg Dyke’s target of capturing the World Cup by 2022.

I don’t pretend to know anything about football, but I do know that a good start would be to sack all the current players, the manager, and the entire board of the FA, with the exception of Dyke.

They may be good at football but as a business man I wouldn’t put them in charge of a broom, let alone a key part of my operation!

They have the wrong values and any business plan would need to work on creating a new corporate ethos from scratch.

We would also need to hire a new board of top business executives, who are paid on results, such as redressing the power balance with the Premier League, something that must be at the heart of any business plan.

We need business people on our team for this crucial operation to reclaim our national team, and what better person to lead the renaissance, than the man behind its degradation 24 years ago.

Its simple business common sense: get the fundamentals in place; the right management team; a sensible business plan, sort out the HR issues, and in a few short years we will have a passionate and determined team, capable of winning the World Cup.

Charlie Mullins is CEO and founder of Pimlico Plumbers

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