Sportsmen don't even know the extent of their own responsibility. Professor Alex Edmans of London Business School has engaged in a long term study that examined the effect of defeats of 39 national teams in major sports tournaments over the years.
His study is bad news to George Osborne (also a Chelsea fan). Apparently, 'investor mood is severely dented' in the wake of defeats. Essentially, a load of pissed off traders traipse into work on Monday and the stock market takes a hit.
According to Mr. Edmans;
A rugby loss leads to a next-day (stock market) decline of 0.15%, which is roughly £3bn for the UK stock market.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that England fared so badly, given who's covering the event over there. The England football team have a famously poor record when games in major championships are covered by ITV. Obviously, it needn't be pointed out here that they are not world beaters on the BBC either, but the stats bear out that they do better.
But ITV have their own worries. The England games have been by far their biggest ratings winner in this World Cup. The Wales match attracted an average audience of 10.4m, while the Fijian one drew an average of 8.7m. The next best game was New Zealand v Argentina, which had 4.1m people tuning in.
The English exit may cost ITV further as advertisers may be refunded to the tune of £1m each for every England game missed - those presumably being the quarter-final, the semi-final and the final.
Meanwhile, the pub trade will naturally lose £5m for, as the Daily Mail put it, each England game that doesn't happen.
We're all aware that the David O'Leary's penalty was responsible for ushering in the Celtic Tiger. But now there could be a linkage between the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the collapse of the property market. It needs to be investigated.