Ireland

Calls to ensure Euro 2028 ticket prices accessible to all

The UK and Ireland will host the championships at 10 stadia (Mike Egerton/PA)
The UK and Ireland will host the championships at 10 stadia (Mike Egerton/PA) The UK and Ireland will host the championships at 10 stadia (Mike Egerton/PA)

The sports minister said he will press to ensure ticket prices for Euro 2028 are accessible to children and low earners.

Stuart Andrew offered to make representations to governing body Uefa after Labour MP Clive Betts raised the need to allow as many fans as possible to enjoy the tournament.

The UK and Ireland will host the championships at 10 stadia, including Wembley, Hampden Park, Principality Stadium, Aviva Stadium and Casement Park.

Sports minister Stuart Andrew
Sports minister Stuart Andrew Sports minister Stuart Andrew offered to make representations to governing body Uefa (Martin Rickett/PA)

Tickets for Euro 2024 start at 30 euros (£26) and bid leaders for 2028 have pledged to make the tournament accessible and affordable.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Betts (Sheffield South East) said: “This should be an opportunity for fans to celebrate and enjoy.

“I remember the 1996 Euros where the Danish fans came to Sheffield and drank the city dry without any problems whatsoever.”

He asked Mr Andrew to commit to engage with the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) in the planning for the event, adding: “They need to be involved because they’ve got really good ideas, really good experience.”

Mr Betts added: “Will he talk to the authorities about ticket pricing so that those on low incomes and particularly children can actually get to the games and enjoy the events?”

Mr Andrew said he would engage with the FSA, adding: “He’s absolutely right, there are lots of issues for us to discuss.

“We’re in constant discussions with the likes of Uefa for example and I’ll happily make those representations to them.”

Elsewhere at culture, media and sport questions, SNP MP Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) raised concerns over fans not being able to watch Scotland men’s international football matches on free-to-air television.

He said: “Scotland is one of only seven out of 55 Uefa countries whose national team is hidden behind a paywall. In these times when families are really, really struggling, in principle does the Secretary of State think this is fair?”

Lucy Frazer
Lucy Frazer Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport Lucy Frazer said sport was devolved to the Scottish Government (Lucy North/PA)

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer replied: “He needs to understand, because he raises this question from time to time, that there’s a balance between audience numbers and commercial revenues for sport.

“Sport, as he knows, is devolved to the Scottish Government.”

Mr Newlands shouted in reply: “Broadcasting is not.”

Earlier, Ms Frazer again encouraged the football authorities to reach a deal on financial distribution and said the planned regulator would deliver a solution if they could not agree.

The Football Governance Bill, included in the King’s Speech, would ensure the operation of a licensing system for professional clubs in the top five tiers of English football, with the key objective of ensuring clubs were financially sustainable, responsibly run and accountable to their fans.

Conservative MP Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) told the Commons: “My understanding is that while negotiations are taking place between the Premier League and the EFL (English Football League) that there has not yet been agreement on redistribution of money.”

Ms Frazer said she understood the concerns, saying: “It is really important that football comes to a deal in relation to the distributions. I support him in encouraging the football associations to do that.

“And I continue to urge them to reach an agreement on financial distributions.

“Although our preference is to ensure that we have a football-led solution, given the importance of distributions to financial sustainability, the independent football regulator will have targeted statutory powers to intervene on financial distributions as a last resort if necessary.

“If football fails to deliver a solution, the regulator will deliver one.”

Conservative MP Dame Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: “The inclusion of football governance in the King’s Speech is very welcome. I wonder if (Ms Frazer) could confirm for me what discussions she’s had with the FA as to whether the independent regulator will include women’s football?”

Ms Frazer replied: “I have regular discussions with the FA, indeed I met the chair of the FA yesterday. At the moment the regulator will cover the men’s game.”

For Labour, shadow sports minister Stephanie Peacock asked what immediate action and interim measures the department were taking to ensure the regulator was “ready to go” as soon as legislation was passed.

Ms Frazer said: “We will be putting in place a shadow regulator, we have already advertised for the appointment of the COO (chief operating officer) of the regulator.

“We want to make sure that as soon as this legislation is on the books, we have done absolutely everything ready to make sure it’s ready to come into force as soon as possible.”