Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans' Guide; Well-Travelled England Supporter Jonathan Reed Shares His Tips on How to Make the Most of This Summer's Footballfest

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans' Guide; Well-Travelled England Supporter Jonathan Reed Shares His Tips on How to Make the Most of This Summer's Footballfest

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Reed

TICKETS ENGLAND'S total allocation for the three group games is 23,520, although the FA had to return tickets for the opener with Russia after failing to sell its allocation of nearly 11,000.

If you haven't secured your tickets through official channels such as the FA or UEFA, your options at this stage are to go down the secondary selling site route or buy outside the ground.

Secondary sites, such as StubHub and Viagogo, have tickets available for the England Russia match from about PS120. Not surprisingly, the England v Wales clash at the 35,000 Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens is attracting the greatest demand, and will set you back at least PS350.

If you decide to wait until match day you won't be on your own. A recent Foreign Office survey of home nations fans planning to travel to France showed that more than half (57 per cent) do not have tickets. Of those, 29 per cent are hoping to buy at the ground.

Buying off a tout really is pot luck. A friend of mine ended up schmoozing in the Nigerian FA hospitality box at the Romania group game in Toulouse in 1998, for the princely sum of PS90. The phrase 'fantastically corrupt' springs to mind.

TRAVEL NOTHING is certain in life but death and taxes. You can add to that travel websites being hit with a spike in bookings once the groups have been sorted for a major football championship.

It really does pay to shop around - even at this late stage.

Flying out from Heathrow to Marseille with BA on the Friday before the first group game, returning on the Sunday, will set you back more than PS700. Ouch! But if you fly to Nice you can save around PS300 and take the train on the day of the game (about PS40 return).

A friend who is heading to France this month has been to every England away match in the past five years. He is flying out via Amsterdam and paid around PS150 return when the draw was made. This cheaper method can still pay off, so get on those search engines.

If you're planning to go to all three England group games it will involve a fair amount of travelling. Marseille to Lens is more than 600 miles and it's another 450 miles to get back to St Etienne for the Slovakia match. …

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