Football fans who are intending to purchase Euro 2016 tickets online are being warned to be extra careful to check that the tickets they are buying are genuine. This applies particularly to those who intend to purchase independently through social media. The recent trend of fake ticket sales through Facebook, Gumtree and Twitter has seen UK citizens £5 million out of pocket last year alone. The demand for tickets to the biggest sporting event of the year is likely to increase that number significantly.

The increased optimism among England fans about their team’s chances is likely to lead to a surge in demand for tickets, and inevitably people will look to cash in. England are now 4th favourites to win the tournament having been backed in to 8/1 by punters following their impressive qualifying record, plus the friendly win over Germany. A flurry of bookie offers on Euro 2016 has stirred up the betting interest even further. England are a hot ticket, and with big expectations comes increased demand.

Fans are being urged to only use official sites for buying and selling tickets. If in doubt, don’t send any money.

Fans can now download the official UEFA Euro 2016 Fan App which provides lots of useful information including info on tickets, travel and accommodation. It also contains links to the latest ticket forums where fans can buy and sell safely in a controlled environment.

So they key is be aware, and enjoy the tournament!

Leicester Fans – Cash Out or Keep The Faith?

by Fans Zone on

Leicester City’s unlikely title challenge has inspired the nation in this most incredible of Premier League seasons. One of the many sub plots that has emerged involves the small number of Leicester fans who actually bet on their team to win the league at the start of the season. Most bookmakers were offering odds of 5000/1 on Leicester to be champions. Now that the finishing line is in sight, they are odds on favourites.

One of the features that most online bookies offer these days is the ability to cash in your bet early. And that has left those lucky enough to have backed their team at such outrageous odds with a dilemma. Do they let their bet ride until the end of the season, and risk ending up with nothing if Leicester falter? Or do they cash out now, take a smaller profit, and run?

It’s a tricky one. What would you do?

These stories started to surface as far back as February, when the Independent reported that carpenter Leigh Herbert turned down a cash out offer of over £3000 from William Hill, preferring to let his £5 bet run longer.

As Leicester were still top in March, another punter from Warwickshire decided that he would cash in his bet, and pocketed £72,000. His £50 stake would have netted him £250,000 if he’d let it run, but he stated that he’d rather take the guaranteed win and not be greedy.

At around the same time, Leicester fan John Pryke did cash out for £29,000. His £20 bet would have made him £100k if he’d let it run, but he said that the bet was ruining the games for him. He preferred to concentrate on the football without the financial spectre hanging over his head as well.

A week later, James Weller rejected Ladbrokes cash out offer of £25,000. With eight games left at the time, Weller decided he was confident that Leicester would go on to win the title and he would prefer to hold out for the full winnings.

Leicester fans – did you  back your team? And if you did, are you tempted to cash out? It’s an interesting topic so we’d love to hear your thoughts!

It’s only a game?

by Fans Zone on

It’s 3.55pm Sunday. I’m face down on my very clean carpet mumbling to myself wondering things like “why?”, “we are always losing to them!” and “anyone but Rooney, anyone”…

You know, things like that. When my wife walks in wondering why it’s gone quiet to see this pitiful sight and to say “it’s only a game hun”, “there’ll be another one next week and maybe you could win that one”..!! Don’t get me wrong, I love my I wife, I love her to bits, she is the mother of my children, she is the apple of my eye, I would kill for that woman – but sometimes she has the worst timing!

Yes, she is right, normally losses against teams don’t affect me at all, but yesterday’s game was against Manchester United. Manchester bloody United and in recent history my face on my carpet has become a regular thing. Everything about Liverpool versus Manchester United is different to every other game – the build up in the week to the game is always full of excitement and anxiety, counting down ..every min, hour, day. Nothing else in that week is important. Yes yes yes my kids, wife and job yes, but mentally everything is about that game.

On the day of the game I have nothing but nervous energy, this time around that nervous energy went into cleaning the carpet and I mean scrubbing, vacuuming and stain removal just to get rid of that energy. Five minutes before the game I’m in pieces. During the game, depending on what happens I am up and down like a yo yo, screaming like a banshee if we score, screaming like a banshee if we concede, screaming like a banshee if the referee doesn’t give a penalty or free kick. In fact generally just screaming like a banshee through the whole game.

Then at the final whistle, feeling very down and depressed and as stated earlier – face down on my carpet. A win against Manchester United would put me in ecstasy for weeks, a loss not just puts me in a sulk for that day, not even the next day but probably for the week, maybe sometimes for the month. I can’t explain this to my wife, I’ve tried but she can’t get her head around it. And as I am face down in my carpet I realise I’ve got to wait until next season for revenge, but at least I can say “what a good job I’ve done on the carpet”… Sniff sniff .

Arm (Hounslow)

I’m not an expert on referees

by Fans Zone on

Firstly, I’m not an expert on referees. Secondly, I don’t perceive myself as an expert on referees. I also don’t know any in depth stats on referees, all I know is that their decisions impact me greatly.

I am what you would call a professional football punter. I try to make a living out of betting on football, not just in the UK but around the world. I have placed a bet on Brazilian, Russian, Greek, Norwegian football as well as the top leagues in Europe. I’ve even placed bets on Australian football. With the Internet and the vast coverage on TV of both European and International football you can actually watch so many of these games.

Now let me tell you something about our UK referees. They’re without a doubt the best referees in the world. They can frustrate you but from what I’ve seen across the world they are by far the most intelligent and knowledgeable referees out there.

Why do you say this I hear you ask, let me tell you. In some countries the referees and their decisions can only be described as awful. In Brazil and American soccer to get a foul you literally have to break a players leg, some of the challenges you see in Brazilian football will shock you. In Italian football I have seen a referee send off players for doing a hand gesture in disgust. In Spain the slightest touch of a player warrants a yellow card. If you look at an average Spanish game there will be in anything from 8 to 10 yellow cards, and the arrogance of Italian and Spanish referees is shocking. Then in France and Germany the refs go head to head with players.

Of course the UK referees might frustrate you, but 90% of the time it’s the right decision and they’re mostly not arrogant about their decisions. Therefore I say give them the credit they deserve or we might end up with Spanish type and Italian type referees and that my friends would be a mistake.

Arm (Hounslow)

Twenty’s Plenty Gets Government Backing

by Fans Zone on

Fans Zone was delighted to hear that the UK Minister for Sport has given her backing to the Twenty’s Plenty campaign. If the campaign to limit away ticket prices to £20 is going to succeed, it needs backing from high profile figures, so the public support of Tracey Crouch MP is an important step towards making this a reality.

The minister’s quotes in parliament were as follows:

“I have raised the issue of costs to supporters with the football authorities but it is important to remember this is a matter for individual clubs.”

“However I am pleased to hear of some excellent examples of clubs reducing ticket prices such as Coventry City and Doncaster Rovers – in line with the Football Supporters’ Federation ‘Twenty Plenty’ campaign, and that Premier League clubs are also considering an extension of the Away Supporters’ Initiative.”

Hopefully this is a further step towards making affordable ticket prices a reality for all supporters.

Is This The End Of The Road For Jose?

by Fans Zone on

Some fans will say it’s been a long time coming. Others will preach patience and say he should be given more time to turn things around. But whichever side of the fence you sit on, the fact remains that the Chelsea board are meeting today to discuss the future of Jose Mourinho as manager. And that normally means one thing – that his P45 will be in the mail over the next few days.

Chelsea fans will not be happy. They have made it very clear in public that the manager has their backing. The incessant chanting of his name at recent matches proves that he is still the choice of the majority. But at the end of the day there is only one man who matters, and that is Roman Abramovic.

Worryingly for the fans, he is not a man who is renowned for his patience with managers. In fact, it’s only because Jose is Jose that he’s lasted as long as he has. The big ego, the past successes, and the feeling that Roman regrets getting rid of him the first time, are the major factors that explain why Mourinho wasn’t sacked weeks ago.

Fans have a good deal of power when it comes to getting rid of managers, as the likes of David Moyes and Alan Pardew will testify. When it comes to keeping managers, there is less of a track record. In general, this level of under-performance would have the crowd clamouring for a change. This time, Chelsea fans clearly feel they have the best man for the job, and that he will turn things around in time. Time, however, is not something that most managers are afforded in the modern game.

If Mourinho does lose his job it will be interesting to see whether Abramovic makes his next appointment with the fans in mind. Guus Hiddink was hugely popular at the Bridge when he took temporary charge of Chelsea last time. Would his appointment be enough to placate fans who would be clearly upset at the second departure of their special one? We shall see…