James Moore: Sam Wiehagen sees the bright side of Greek tragedy


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The Independent Online

Outlook Good news has been in short supply for the embattled tour operator Thomas Cook.

It says much that its chief executive, Sam Wiehagen, was yesterday just about the only commentator to find something optimistic to say about Greece getting booted out of the euro. The restoration of the drachma, he argued, should make holidays to the Greek islands both cheap and quite profitable.

Packages will need to be very cheap indeed to tempt those suffering from the economic aftershocks of a Greek exit. But Mr Wiehagen is probably entitled to find positives where he may given the challenge he faces in bringing Cook back to health.

One thing that hasn't helped him is the Olympics. He has the rights to sell packages to the Games, made up of ticket plus hotel room. Tailor-made for the corporate crowd, you might think, but they're not biting.

If this is the beginning of a trend it spells bad news for any number of sporting events down the road, because many have been sustained by the corporate shilling.

The impact may even filter through to the money on offer to players. Sports stars, who tend to demand pay for playing outside of Olympic arenas, could feel a little of the austerity chill as a result

Cancel that second Ferrari, darling. See, we are all in this together.