The offer extends to club or country, although since 2005 it has been, with the exception of one trip, Northern Ireland I’ve been travelling to support.
This year has presented an early disappointment, with my planned Belgrade trip to watch OWC in serious doubt since UEFA’s decision to punish us for the behaviour of Serbian hoolies in Italy last year. Estonia in early September looks to be tidy replacement, with a trip to (*cough*) Wembley to watch United in the (*cough*) Champions League Final the possible second option if I can gather together the likely (*cough*) grand or so that the tickets will be probably be fetching.
And, no, before you ask, I won’t be going anywhere near Dublin for any of the games in the Carling Nations(?) fiasco.
It seems that the FAI are panicking that my apathy may be spreading:
The FAI will make an initial interim reduction to all general admission ticket prices of between 9 and 12.5% for the opening Carling Nations Cup match against Wales on February 8 and more reductions will follow for subsequent matches in 2011 once consultation with affiliates is complete…hmmm, so, the way things seem to be going, a fiver will get you into the last of their home games against Scotland , May 27th.
Northern Ireland v Scotland on the nest day will cost you 17 GBPs; the FAI will probably pay you if you want to get into our game against Wales.
So, not looking good for a repeat performance for the Carling but, oh well, never mind, not to worry:
The English Football Association said it is in talks with other home nations to play a one-off tournament in 2013.Hmmm… again.
But it does not want to revive the home international tournament, which involved England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, on a regular basis.
The FA is investigating the proposal as part of its 150th anniversary.
"We're talking to the home nations about a possible one-off round of matches with them," said FA general secretary Alex Horne.
"I think we'd be talking about a series of one-off matches in 2013 to mark our 150th anniversary."
The last home international tournament took place in 1984, exactly one hundred years after the first championship took place.
And, despite suggesting 2013 would be a one-off, Horne admitted discussions were at an early stage and did not entirely rule out the prospect of a regular tournament in the future depending on whether the event in two years' time is a success.
Not sure about making it a regular fixture in the calendar at all.
The football world has moved on a lot since 1984, the year when we won the last British Championship. International Friendlies abound (for England and occasionally Scotland, very lucrative friendlies abound) and club football post the Murdoch takeover in 1990ish is now the prime concern for both the money men and, by logical extension, for the British Football establishment.
Furthermore, a slug-out against Wales on a wet April evening in Swansea is not the required preparation for facing, let’s say, a competitive game against Poland in Chorzow. No offence to Wales intended, they could and should be saying the same about us.
Yes, England v Scotland (and poss Wales) would be a great day out for the hoolies; yes, we can bond with our blood and bone ;) very other year in Glasgow. Occasionally we might even beat England. That's not really enough though to recommend starting it all again is it?
I’d say let’s help England out with their anniversary tournament in 2013 and then leave it for when we get drawn together in the competitive matches in the Euros or World Cup.