ATAC Chair Martin Riddell, and Vice Chair Graeme Baxter, attended an online meeting on Tuesday 6th April that was hosted by the MET Police’s Lead Planner for the Euros. We were invited there to give a fan perspective of Scotland fans attending Wembley for the match on 18 June. We were invited through our association with Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and others on the call included the Security Lead and Euros Project Leader from the FA, two reps from Police Scotland, various tournament London fanzone managers, a few other MET Police and Football Intelligence staff and various reps for the Greater London Authority (GLA) which I think is effectively the body that runs public services etc in London on behalf of the Mayor. There were about 15 of us in total.
Trafalgar Square will be the official London fanzone during the tournament. Access will be ticketed and it will open 3 hours before each match. The expectation is that this is somewhere for fans to watch matches on big screens – it is not being designed as a pre-match drinking venue. There will be an open ballot for tickets which will open a few days before each scheduled match. Tickets will be free.
They are working on two models. One, if social distancing etc is in place, will mean up to 700 people sat down at picnic bench style seating in groups of 4. The other model is for no social distancing and will cater for up to 10,000. It may be that access to the fanzone requires some proof of a negative test/vaccination/immunity but this hasn’t been decided yet.
The Football Village will be at Pettersfield which is right next door to the Mayor’s office on the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. This is being designed as a family friendly zone. Having the official fanzone in Trafalgar Sq means that the police etc will not be wanting the usual pre-match meet up of Scotland fans around there. This is a message we have been asked to support and communicate out. More fanzone info can be seen here https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/euro-2020-trafalgar-square-fan-zone-faqs
Rail routes should be open but they will be strictly advanced purchase tickets only. They have asked West Coast Mainline to increase capacity. They have asked West Coast Mainline to increase capacity. Trains may be dry. They will be encouraging Scotland fans who arrive by train to stay over in London as time will be extremely tight to catch the last train up the road post-match. National Coach should be offering a full service.
There will be plenty space for coach parking and there will be a coach parking tool nearer the time to use to book spaces for buses. A few of the bus parks are a bit away from Wembley (furthest being 2km) so for these ones they are hoping to run an accessibility shuttle to get fans back and forward for those wo may require. There will be no car parking around Wembley and they suggested North of the stadium for parking and then getting the tube in to the stadium. They mentioned Ruislip and Stanmore as options to park and get the tube to Wembley. They are hopeful of getting government subsidy to keep local transport costs down if social distancing remains in place. With regard to car parking, fans may wish to try Hillingdon and Uxbridge along with Harrow on the Hill. All these place are on the Met line direct into Wembley and central London.
FA are aiming for 25% for the Wembley group matches. They are looking to have slightly more for the next set of matches. And they are hopeful of an increased capacity for the semis and final. They are expecting UEFA to allow them to announce these higher capacities closer to the start of the tournament and dependent on how things go. Understandable as we all know that everything can change at a moments notice with the virus.
For the various Wembley test events that are coming up they will be doing some lateral flow testing. For the first two small scale tests they are suggesting at least two tests before the event and one after. UEFA may look at proof of negative tests, proof of vaccination or some other proof of immunity but it has yet to be decided. Obviously the local government may look to introduce and enforce that too.
Something that UEFA are keen for is for alcohol to be sold at the stadium due to their sponsors. The first two small test events will have alcohol sales and they will decide after that.
We anticipate several follow up meetings to take place in the build up to the match, and we will continue to share relevant details from these meetings.