It is not just England's pampered primadonna footballers that have been left contemplating a dismal summer next year.

England and, for that matter, any of the home nations' inability to qualify for next June's European Championships means the retail sector is likely to miss out on an estimated £600m bonanza.

And it won't just be sales in England that suffer. Fans in the rest of the UK are used to their teams missing out, but, of course, they love nothing more than cheering on any team that's playing England.

Now the industry's top marketing chiefs will really have to earn their corn. Gone is the easy option of becoming the official shampoo, breadstick or kitchen roll of the England team.

Companies will have to be much more innovative than slapping a flag of St George on their products.

Looking down the list of qualifiers, perhaps now is the time to really capitalise on immigration trends - how much to become the official beer of the Polish national side anyone?