SPORTS AGENDA: National League Solidarity Payment Soars, US Fans Lead Euro 2024 Ticket Sales

SPORTS AGENDA: National League Solidarity Payment Soars, US Fans Lead Euro 2024 Ticket Sales

The National League has more than doubled its solidarity payment from the Premier League. Thanks in part to a new competition that will see youngsters from top-flight clubs’ academies take on National League sides, the figure will shift from £3m to north of £6m when the new campaign kicks off. 

Focus for the National League will now switch to the EFL, and the ongoing attempts to secure a system of three-up, three-down from League Two which would put it in synch with the other leagues and replace the ludicrous current situation where only two clubs can be promoted.

The National League has more than doubled its solidarity payment from the Premier League

 

Fans in USA lead the way for buying Euros tickets on secondary markets 

Tickets on secondary markets for the European Championship have been sold in 134 countries – with a surprise at the top of the list of demand. Fans in the United States have snapped up 27 per cent of all sales, which is more than the 25 per cent of host nation Germany. Fans in Canada are in third place, ahead of Netherlands and Georgia, according to viagogo. 

The UK is in eighth place, behind Austria and Mexico with the most popular fixture Spain versus Italy. No England games feature in the top 10, although that may well change should the Three Lions progress to the knockout stages.

 

Southgate calls upon full England squad 

Gareth Southgate welcomed his full squad together for the first time at St George’s Park on Sunday night. 

The group who fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Iceland in their final tune up on Friday night at an underwhelmed Wembley were given the weekend off. All those heading to Germany, including Jude Bellingham who lifted the Champions League trophy on June 1, gathered in Burton.

Gareth Southgate was able to call upon his whole England squad including Jude Bellingham

Gareth Southgate was able to call upon his whole England squad including Jude Bellingham

 

Stephen Fry claims the MCC ‘stinks’ of privilege 

The MCC ‘stinks’ of privilege and is fill of ‘beetroot-coloured gentlemen’. Those are the views of actor and writer Stephen Fry who spoke of the ‘disturbing’ image of the 237-year-old institution at the Hay Festival. Fry came in off his long run, adding that the ‘classism’ within MCC ‘just stinks’. 

This would be the same Stephen Fry who led MCC for a year from 2022 to 2023 and who is due back at Lord’s as a star speaker to talk about the influence of AI on cricket following the MCC’s World Cricket Connects global forum on July 5. Meanwhile, the presence of Fry and MCC cricket committee chair as a perceived ‘warm-up act’ for whistleblower Azeem Rafiq at the festival has not gone down well among senior figures at Yorkshire.

 

Jokes over Maresca graphic 

Some smiles following a graphic posted by Chelsea to mark the arrival of Enzo Maresca at Stamford Bridge. 

Officials posted a picture of the Leicester City manager, along with a list of achievements – among them the lifting of the Premier League 2 while at Manchester City. ‘”Development squad PL 2 champions – you’ll never sing that!”’ joked one onlooker.

Chelsea were mocked for listing Enzo Maresca's Premier League 2 title as one of his honours

Chelsea were mocked for listing Enzo Maresca’s Premier League 2 title as one of his honours

 

EFL clubs must let disabled fans sat with fellow away supporters 

EFL clubs have been told that they must provide disabled fans with the opportunity to be placed with their fellow away supporters at matches. 

In previous seasons a small number of sides have failed to ensure those who arrive to cheer on the away team are able to do so from the right section of the ground and have instead lumped them in with the home supporters. That will no longer be the case after a rule was voted in at the annual AGM. 

Elsewhere at the Cotswold-based summit, it was agreed that clubs will now have to produce and deliver a Fan Engagement Plan along with two fan forums every year while a new regulation that requires clubs to either have or establish a Club Community Organisation was also voted in.

 

Newcastle fans attend 3-D show 

Newcastle fans attended a 3-D show which hailed the city, supporters and the club

Newcastle fans attended a 3-D show which hailed the city, supporters and the club

Up to 15,000 turned up at Newcastle’s Quayside to watch a 3-D show projected onto the Baltic Flour Mill which hailed the city, fans and club and featured the likes of Jackie Millburn and Alan Shearer walking on the Tyne, along with a tribute to Bobby Robson. 

The event, created by Saudi shirt sponsors Sela, saw a number of specially-designed jerseys handed to supporters with hearing problems. The specially-adapted tops included haptic technology so those present could feel the music and immerse themselves in the show. The move builds on from a similar set-up, with vibrating jerseys handed out at the home match against Spurs in April.

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