ATAC Chair Martin Riddell, and Vice Chair Graeme Baxter, attended a 2nd meeting on Friday 30th April, again hosted by the MET Police’s Lead Planner for the Euros, in follow up to the meeting at the start of May. In attendance were representatives from the MET Police, the FA, Football Supporters Europe, Greater London Authority / Mayors office, British Transport Police, Police Scotland, along with reps from the England and Croatian Supporters Clubs, and the Czech National Team SLO.
Below are some notes from the meeting, and a further meeting is planned for Mid May.
Ticketing and Capacities
UEFA doing reverse ballot at the end of this week. This means that fans who have tickets in the general sale should know their outcome. PNA (Participating Nation Allocation) tickets are dealt with by each FA although they are ultimately sold via the UEFA portal. For Czech and Croatia fans, their FAs may give preference to their fans living in the UK when it comes to cancelling their tickets as a result of 25% capacity. In England’s case, the FA cancelled all PNA tickets and are now re-balloting/re-selling based on their fans that have the most caps (the equivalent to our loyalty points). once the new PN Allocations are confirmed. We asked if bubble/same household seating would likely offer the opportunity of a small increase in our allocation, however it appears a directive from UEFA states that ALL seats will be socially distanced, and have 3 or 4 between them, irrespective of who you order with.
If any FA decided that they can’t use their allocation due to travel restrictions then they can return these to UEFA. There is not yet an agreed process to what would then happen with these tickets, and that would be for UEFA to decide.
The current English roadmap suggests that they may move from 25% to 50% capacity between their 2nd and 3rd group games. Current plans are that all their group matches will be at 25%. Any move to 50% would be based on test event data. This will be important to us for when we play our semi final and final at Wembley!!!
There is no exemption from travel restrictions for any fan attending matches. The next international travel announcement is due ahead of the 17 May. There is an expectation that this will introduce a strict traffic light system of quarantine. For example, Red = hotel quarantine, Amber = home/friend/relative quarantine, Green = no quarantine. We had talked before about hypothetical bubble shuttles to get away fans into matches. This would have meant charter plane, bussed straight to match and returned the same way post-match. This now looks unlikely based on the potentially stricter travel guidelines above. The Croatian rep asked if quarantine would be based at country level as they have areas within the country on different levels of infection. It was felt that the travel guidelines would be country specific with no allowance for regions within a country.
For our other group opponents both the Croatian and Czech fans reps said that travelling numbers would be very low if quarantining was in place. Normally they would have expected a few thousand from each country to travel but they will have very few as things currently stand. As mentioned above, this may mean that their FAs begin to identify Croatian and Czech fans living in the UK to get their tickets. This may not be possible or desired by their FAs. It was also mentioned that the UEFA reverse ballot may take into account fans of Croatia and Czech living in UK to ensure that they have some representation at Hampden and Wembley.
Our Match(es) at Wembley
The Trafalgar Square fanzone mentioned last month will be in operation for all matches at Wembley and all England fixtures. No decision yet on the capacity but as stated last month, this is for watching matches rather than a pre-match party. It will be ticketed. We asked for alternative suggestions for Scotland fans to gather at but there are currently no plans for this.
With no current travel restrictions in place for UK travel there is an expectation that many will travel to London. Keeping in mind that the capacity in bars in England just now is 30% then we were advised it would make sense to discourage ticketless fans. Anyone who does still plans to attended should plan accordingly and book in to places to avoid disappointment.
A few final bits and pieces.
- The scheduled trains from Scotland to London are now very limited availability.
- Charter trains were not viable due to reduced capacities and social distancing.
- We are aware that there are some supporters buses arranged – expectation is that these will be reduced capacity in line with travel guidelines
- Face coverings and social distancing requirements should be observed in London on the underground etc. No drinking alcohol is permitted on the underground.
- Dry trains may be implemented in the day running up to the match, although a decision has not yet been made – alcohol is currently not allowed on trains due to Covid restrictions.
A follow up meeting has been scheduled for mid May, and if any Scotland fan wishes to raise any points with us, please do get in touch!
A separate meeting is taking place later this week with the Glasgow Team, and we will endeavour to produce a similar summary of relevant points .