Friday, October 23, 2009

Enterprise and Punch can have a brief breather over this one simply because it's not all bad news for once. OFT issues an unsatisfactory report based on casting a glance at the price of a pint bought over the bar in tied and free of tie pubs and deciding, erroneously, the consumer is not being ripped off, so giving the markets a sense that the game's not quite up. Materially though nothing has changed. The pubco estates are in deep trouble, the pubs are run down, dilapidated and not fit for purpose, tenants are deeply disaffected, income streams are drying up, pubs are closing faster and faster as the financial realities of the unsustainability of the tie and excessive rents continues to bite home; shareholders are hanging in there because they've lost so much already there's no point selling. Yep it's all rosy at Tuppen and Thorley towers; they are 'Delighted'.

Oh, by the way, far from most tied tenants 'supporting' the tie, the reality is that the 'VAST' majority of licensees would be happy to add petrol to a bonfire if Ted and Giles were strapped to the top of it - just ask them.

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