The Autumn Rugby Internationals started yesterday afternoon with comfortable victories for England and Ireland. Up at Murrayfield, Scotland defeated Samoa, minnows both on and so it appears, off the pitch. In fact, this week the Samoa Rugby Union was declared 'bankrupt' by the country's Prime Minister. Samoa has been wrestling with their crippling debt for years, which, at its highest, reached £305,000 in 2015. They have since been able to reduce it to £147,000, but current World Rugby rules exacerbate the problems faced by Samoa and other Pacific Island sides, with host nations under no obligation whatsoever to share any of their revenue with visiting sides inside international windows. As a consequence, Samoa are relying on donations and charity. They have asked (or more like begged) the English RFU for £160,000 from their upcoming clash at Twickenham on 25th November. The RFU responded by saying it will make a goodwill payment of £75,000. That sounds generous you may say. However, given that the test match will earn the English RFU up to £10 million alone, it shows that whilst the England team may be impressive on the pitch, their governing body still has plenty of room for improvement!
 
Priti Patel, Kevin Spacey and Ovidiu Hategan, the football referee who awarded Switzerland a ridiculous penalty against Northern Ireland on Thursday night, have all had better weeks. So much so that Donald Trump’s five-nation Asia tour has been relegated somewhat to the inner pages of the newspapers and news bulletins. It appears, from a distance, that Mr Trump has been ‘relatively’ well behaved, perhaps in recognition of China’s growing standing on world matters. China’s influence on global real estate, however, is not currently on a par. Investment stood at $30 billion in 2016 according to JLL, or 2% of total volumes, and predictions are that 2017 will be broadly the same, although skewed by the $14 billion undertaken by CIC for Logicor, Blackstone’s European logistics business. Whilst investment agents and vendors currently wait with baited breath to see what the true ramifications of last month’s Chinese Communist Party Congress are, The Weekly’s man in Asia, Collin Lau, went on record this week to say that the current situation in China would remain for another year, with investors wanting to keep a low profile for the next ten to twelve months. Not what the agents will want to hear, but perhaps it’s an opportunity for our domestic investors to make hay?
 
Whilst you may not have seen it yet, The Weekly regrets to inform you that the Coca Cola Truck is definitely coming. Whilst the nation’s supermarket shelves are already lined with advent calendars and tubs of Quality Street, festive TV adverts are the sure-fire sign that Christmas is on its way. It’s still over six weeks away for goodness sake!! Friday saw the much publicised release of John Lewis’ Christmas advert featuring Moz, a large, snoring under-the-bed monster. Over the past decade or so, John Lewis has turned its festive adverts into an annual media moment. It has produced a stream of ads, from a romance between two snowmen, to Monty the Penguin, the tale of a lonely man on the moon and last year’s bouncing boxer dog. This year’s advert alone cost a staggering £7 million! John Lewis are, unfortunately, not alone. They are part of a total advertising splurge of nearly £6 billion planned for the final quarter of 2017, £140 million more than last year (and nearly 40% up in just seven years), as stores and brands attempt to persuade us to forget about our straining household budgets and rising inflation figures. 65% of shoppers apparently admit that Christmas TV adverts are effective. The Weekly remains firmly with the other 35%. Bah humbug!

 

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