ONE of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains has been forced to stop playing England World Cup songs in Scottish stores after complaints from customers.
Shoppers in Morrisons stores north of the Border were stunned to hear English anthems blaring out from the sound system in the run-up to the tournament in Brazil.
Songs on the playlist included Three Lions by comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel and Vindaloo by comic and actor Keith Allen.
New Order’s World in Motion, which was the official England theme tune for the 1990 World Cup and included a rap by ex-England player John Barnes, was also broadcast.
Several Scottish customers complained to staff in stores across Scotland about being forced to listen to the anthems as they browsed the aisles. Morrisons has now removed all songs which cheer on England’s footballers from the playlists in its 64 stores in Scotland.
Bosses at the Bradford-based retailer said some of the tracks being used in English stores had accidentally been added to a playlist rolled out across the UK.
Morrisons insisted the tracks were only played in Scottish branches for one day before the songs were pulled.
Shopper Christopher Vale, 25, of Carfin, Lanarkshire, was shocked to hear the songs at his local store.
“I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had taken a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of England,” he said.
“The songs are not offensive or anything but they are all about cheering on England and I don’t think they should be played in any Scottish stores.
“It’s just rubbing in the fact that England are playing in Brazil and Scotland didn’t qualify.
“It was a bit of a blunder by the company and I think they have done the sensible thing by removing them.”
Hamish Husband, spokesman for the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, said: “I would hope Scottish fans would wish England well this year but I think playing their songs in Morrisons is taking it a bit far.
“A lot of Tartan Army fans hope England do well but get beat in the semi-finals.”
A Morrisons spokesman said: “As soon as we noticed the error, the songs were removed from the Scottish stores’ playlists.”
The news emerged on the day the firm announced 2,600 job losses as a result of management restructuring plans being rolled out across the country.
This comes despite the supermarket reporting a boost in sales of beer and snacks as people stock up on supplies to enjoy while watching World Cup matches.
Morrisons has the fourth-largest share of the UK market, behind Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. All the big brand supermarkets are cashing in on football fever with special promotions on food and drink, televisions and mobile technology in the hope of boosting sales.
Several supermarkets in Scotland offered special deals on Italian food and drinks ahead of the country beating England 2-1 in their opening game of the tournament.
And a number of retailers, including Sainsburys, have shelves stocked with a range of goods relating to host country
Brazil including yellow and green flags, Samba whistles, bottle openers mugs and backpacks.
During the last World Cup, in 2010, Asda refused to sell merchandise bearing the St George’s Cross flag at its Scottish stores.