After drawing Wales in the Euro 2016 office sweepstake a few weeks ago, I may have inadvertently given the impression to my colleagues that I was in some way not utterly ecstatic at the outcome. I now accept that my use of various profanities and the term “unmitigated disaster” may have misconstrued my true feelings on the subject. I am happy to clarify that I have always had the utmost confidence in the Welsh national team, fully expected them to make it to the semi-finals as a minimum and consider it a privilege to have invested £2.00 in their endeavour to stay in Europe (albeit for football and binge drinking only).
Although Millstream specialises in public procurement rather than football punditry, we have been impressed by the interest shown by some attendees of the tournament in our area of expertise: it was particularly gratifying to see a fringe element of Remain supporting England fans attempting to stimulate French public sector expenditure by facilitating massive overtime payments to the Gendarmes and street sweepers of Marseilles and Lille. Faced with a wave of criticism after the abject humiliation of his team of spoilt divas being defeated by plucky Icelandic amateurs, England manager Roy Hodgson reluctantly agreed to face the media despite being privately encouraged by Boris Johnson to follow his lead by abdicating all responsibility for the outcome.
Meanwhile, post-referendum polling analysis suggests that many Scottish voters erroneously believed that that the Remain platform contained a specific commitment to restart the Euro 2016 tournament at the qualifying stage. In order to explore what options may be available to remain within the single market after being outvoted by England and Wales, the Scottish Government has assembled an advisory group of diplomatic experts led by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan. Mr Strachan, having recently been ridiculed for his assertion that his team were sufficiently talented to be in the competition despite failing to qualify, has insisted that any constitutional, legal or economic obstacles to EU accession are irrelevant due to his country definitely being good enough to be in it because he says so.
On the Emerald Isle, concerns about the potential consequences of Brexit for trade and travel arrangements seem to have adversely affected fortunes on the pitch, with the spectre of a return to border checks weighing so heavily on the mind of Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley that he forgot which team he was on. For the Republic, worries over the repercussions of the vote led to a louder than usual bout of self-congratulation on having the best fans in the world, marred only by the minor issue of their team’s anaemic performance. Sources close to manager Martin O’Neill claim that his side’s 3-0 defeat to Belgium was actually a deliberate gesture of goodwill to Brussels, intended to emphasise his country’s commitment to the European project in contrast with their awkward neighbours.
I’ve never been a particularly avid follower of the beautiful game, but as I am now sick and tired of all things Brexit I am grateful for the diversion that this tournament provides. If, however, your desires are unconventional and you wish to continue flagellating yourself by learning about the impact of the referendum result on the world of public sector procurement, then you can view Millstream’s reaction to Brexit and our appraisal of what it means for the Tenders Direct service elsewhere on this blog.
pob lwc Cymru!