England fans ready to shun Euros over rip-off hotels

FA admits its full ticket allocation for group games may not be taken up because of high prices

The Football Association has conceded that for the first time in recent years England's travelling support may not take up the entirety of their ticket allocation for group stage matches at Euro 2012 because of the chronic shortage and expense of hotel rooms in Ukraine at next summer's tournament.

Traditionally the best supported team at major championships, many England fans have been discouraged by the lack of hotel rooms in Donetsk in particular where England play two of their group games against France on 11 June and Ukraine eight days later. As a result the FA has acknowledged that demand could be considerably lower than it was for the last European Championship for which England qualified, in Portugal in 2004.

In an open letter to members of its official supporters group, englandfans, yesterday, the FA said that it was "confident" that the allocations agreed with Uefa last week would be enough "to satisfy expected demand".

In other words, the usual heavy demand for tickets is not anticipated to be a factor, especially in Donetsk which is estimated to have a shortfall of at least 1,700 available hotel rooms. The situation is little better elsewhere. By way of example, the travel agent Thomson is offering a two-day package to watch the Kiev group game on 15 June against Sweden, which includes a two-night stay at a three-star hotel, for an eye-watering £1,244.

The exact ticket allocations for England fans are 7,065 for the game against France in Donetsk; 8,872 for the Sweden match in Kiev and 7,065 for the final group game against Ukraine in Donetsk. Should England progress further the allocation drops to 4,302 for the quarter-finals and 4,301 for the semi-finals. In the event of the team reaching the final, the FA would get 8,001 tickets to allocate to its supporters group.

The FA said yesterday that its allocation is predominantly in the two lowest-priced categories of ticket. The governing body revealed that "90 per cent of the tickets allocated to englandfans members will be within the most affordable price range, for group matches tickets will be priced between €30 and €70 each."

However, that will be of little consolation to England supporters facing hotel rates of £900 in Donetsk where the 52,500 Donbass Arena is situated. The local authorities have proposed to build a campsite to accommodate 3,500 supporters but that is unlikely to cater for all tastes.

Historically, the travelling England support has outnumbered even that of the Netherlands and Germany who also have large followings at international tournaments. That support has followed England to the extent that when the team played against the Euro 2004 hosts Portugal in the quarter-final of that tournament there were estimated to be more England supporters than Portuguese in the Stadium of Light in Lisbon.

Mark Perryman, a spokesman for England fans' groups, said he believed many supporters would wait until closer to the tournament to make their decision as to whether they would travel to Ukraine. "The big row at the 2006 World Cup was the lack of tickets and in particular the amount that went to sponsors," he said. "I don't think there will be quite the same anger about because there won't be the excessive demand. But if England finish top of their group I wouldn't be surprised if a few more fans try to get there."

Perryman said that many England fans were planning to stay outside of Donetsk and Kiev, even up to 150 miles away and travel in and out on the day of the match to avoid paying the excessive prices of city-centre hotels. There were as many as 250,000 England supporters in Gelsenkirchen when England played Portugal in the quarter-final of the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

"Around 10,000 went to South Africa last summer but this year, for the casual sports fan, there is more of a choice," Perryman added. "Instead of spending a weekend at the Euros they might choose to go to the Olympics. If David Beckham is captaining the GB team then that is bound to be a factor."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam