Wetherspoons to show the World Cup in pubs for the first time but with a catch

Wetherspoon is planning to show World Cup football games for the first time ever under strict guidelines from bosses.

The company announced that most of its 850 pubs will screen the international tournament across the country.

But the matches will be shown without sound with subtitles enabled at the boozers which are known for being sound-free.

A select few Wetherspoon pubs will not be showing the matches due to not having television screens.

The move will follow the existing setup at the pub chain where news is usually played quietly in the background outside of World Cup season.

Wetherspoon said its decision to show the tournament with subtitles only was made out of respect for customers who do not watch football.

An estimated two million punters visit the pubs each week which are known for being free from background sound and music.

Boss Tim Martin reportedly decided against playing tunes after reading an article by George Orwell which claimed that a perfect pub would be free from any background music, according to the Liverpool Echo.

But the pubs do occasionally have sound on with sport.

The final decision tends to fall to the manager of each individual pub who might choose to crank up the sound for England and Wales games.

Wetherspoons’ spokesman Eddie Gershon described the move as a far cry two decades ago when the World Cup would be banned from all their pubs.

He told Birmingham Live : “Twenty years ago we’d have been the only pub group not showing World Cup matches. Then we had TV screens showing news inside but they are regular-sized tellies not big screens.

“Football isn’t massive for Wetherspoon’s but we are showing it this year as a certain amount of people want to watch it.

“There’s still space inside our pubs for people to go who aren’t interested. Most pubs only tend to have two TVs.”

A total 64 matches will be played over the next four weeks until December 18 when the World Cup final will air at 3pm a week before Christmas Day.

Wetherspoon is known among its customers for its affordable drinks and food menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Its boozers are often restored from interesting and unique buildings such as former theatres, banks, police stations and courts.

Mr Martin said: “We take immense pride in the restoration and refurbishment of wonderful buildings into Wetherspoon pubs. We feel that it is right to celebrate the history of the buildings.”

In September, Wetherspoon put 32 of its pubs up for sale after previously warning that it could face losses of £30million due to rising staff wages and repairs.