Firms make plans for World Cup crunch

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

WORK­PLACES and class­rooms across Peter­bor­ough are set to come to a stand­still to­mor­row as hun­dreds of fac­tory work­ers, of­fice staff and pupils stop what they are do­ing to back Eng­land’s bat­tle for World Cup glory.

With Fabio Capello’s men fac­ing a must win match against Sol­ve­nia at 3pm to en­sure qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the knock out stages of the tour­na­ment, many work­ers will be keen to es­cape from their desks or shopfloor to find a screen to watch the ac­tion.

So, rather than face the prospect of see­ing em­ploy­ees and pupils go missing come kick-off time, many of the ma­jor firms and schools in the city are al­low­ing sup­port­ers to watch the big match at their desks.

Faith McMath, from in­surance firm BGL, based in Bakewell Road, Or­ton South­gate, Peter­bor­ough, said work­ers would be en­cour­aged to take part in a se­ries of foot­balling ac­tiv­i­ties in the of­fice to­mor­row.

She said: “We are hav­ing a foot­ball fun day to­mor­row. There will be var­i­ous events go­ing on, in­clud­ing a keepy uppy chal­lenge, a Ques­tion of Sport and a bar­be­cue. We will have big screens up in meet­ing rooms as well, so peo­ple will be able to watch the match live.”

Staff at en­gi­neer­ing firm Baker Perkins, on Pas­ton Park­way, Peter­bor­ough, will be given the chance to go home and watch the match.

A spokes­woman said: “We are ex­pect­ing ev­ery­one to come in as nor­mal to­mor­row, but if peo­ple want to watch the match then they can go home and watch it. How­ever, they will have to make up the time later.”

Nick San­ham, from Thomas Cook, based in Bret­ton, said they were hop­ing for a good at­mos­phere dur­ing the do-or­die match.

He said: “Through­out the World Cup we have had peo­ple tak­ing early and late lunches to watch the foot­ball, and we have a num­ber of screens show­ing the matches all over the of­fice.

“On Wed­nes­day we will have a foot­ball dress down day for Thomas Cook Chil­dren’s Char­ity as well, so peo­ple will be able to come to work in their foot­ball shirts if they do­nate money to the cause. I am sure there will be a good at­mos­phere if Eng­land do well.”

And young­sters will also be able to keep track of Eng­land’s progress at their school. With kick off com­ing at the end of the school day, Ken Stimp­son Com­mu­nity School, in Stani­land Way, Wer­ring­ton, will be al­low­ing pupils to watch the first half be­fore head­ing home for the fi­nale.

Prin­ci­pal Richard Lord said; “We have a piece of soft­ware that will al­low the game to be screened in the class­rooms at the end of the day. School fin­ishes at 3.15pm, and it will be up to the chil­dren how long they stay for.

“We did some­thing sim­i­lar in 2002, when we opened early. It is im­por­tant to do some­thing, as oth­er­wise there could be con­cerns about at­ten­dance.”

How­ever, Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil said the only way for work­ers to watch the match live was to take an­nual hol­i­day on the day.

A city coun­cil spokes­woman said: “Any em­ploy­ees who wish to take time off to watch their team in the World Cup can do so by re­quest­ing an­nual leave in the usual way. Late re­quests for leave will be con­sid­ered as long as suf­fi­cient cover is avail­able in the team.

“While we will be as flex­i­ble as pos­si­ble in al­low­ing em­ploy­ees to take time off to watch games should they wish to, pro­vid­ing ef­fec­tive ser­vices is our pri­or­ity.”

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