'We have nothing left': Broken businessman hits out at football Covid rules

23 June 2021, 11:12

By Tim Dodd

A businessman who's lost a staggering £500,000 during the pandemic hits out at the government for allowing 60,000 fans at Euro 2020, whilst hospitality and entertainment businesses are still subject to social distancing rules.

The conversation comes as the UK government announced more than 60,000 fans will be permitted to attend the semi-final and final of the European Championships - 75% of the stadium's capacity.

Andrew in Ripon began by telling Nick his frustrations:

"With 60,000 people going back to watch football, and my events industry absolutely in tatters, and my British manufacturing business in complete pickle, then I have every right I think to say my piece.

"So we're Bishop Sound, and we manufacture speakers for live performance.

"With Notting Hill cancelled, Kendal Calling cancelled, with the MPs and all the SAGE people on their full salaries, we sit here, 16 months in lockdown with no income, completely excluded with our 3 million colleagues, not being able to export because Brexit is a complete car crash.

"So whilst we get massive support from the Department for International Trade... our hands are tied as British manufacturers. This country is going down the pan as far as manufacturing is concerned and I am furious."

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Andrew then said that he and his wife are on universal credit, having sold all of their possessions.

"We have nothing left. We're living on fresh air, and thankfully a few clients that are buying a few little bits and pieces."

Nick asked: "Can you put a figure precisely on how much you've lost?"

"Probably in excess of half a million," Andrew replied.

Nick then asked Andrew what the impact of Brexit would be once lockdown lifts next month.

"Our plan is to shout from the rooftops about British manufacturing, British quality, British durability, British reliability, and tell our customers around the world we are here and we are open for business, and ask them to please, please place an order," Andrew said.

Talking about how difficult the pandemic has been for those in the events industry, Andrew then shared a story of his friend who was a DJ who took his own life.

"He did not deserve to go through this with no hope, no money, no future, he took his life. That was a very sad call and a very sad day for me."

The new "Freedom Day", which should see legal limits on social distancing lifted, has been pushed back from 21st June to 19th July.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson: July 19 a 'terminus point' for England's lockdown restrictions

The government implemented the delay to vaccinate more people amid concerns about the fast-spreading Delta variant.