England Fans Welcome Here
Posted on 23rd April 2012
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is pleased to back the new England Fans Welcome Here initiative launched by the Donbass Arena in Donetsk which aims to make fans feel “welcome and confident” about their visit to the Ukraine. With two of England’s three group games taking place in Donetsk England Fans Welcome Here looks to secure the best service at a fair price for Three Lions supporters.
While there have been stories of outrageous pricing by some Ukrainian businesses the FSF hasn’t just sat back and complained about this – we’ve been at the heart of the action, doing our best to look after the interests of travelling fans.
Part of this has been our involvement with the Donbass Arena’s not-for-profit initiative to help supporters feel more welcome in Donetsk. England Fans Welcome Here Official Partner Logos (see above) will be given to accredited businesses in the accommodation, transport, and leisure sectors who have signed up to the scheme’s conditions, which are:
- To provide English speaking contact personnel during Euro 2012.
- To provide English language literature, signage, or contracts for guests.
- Not to charge more than a defined percentage price increase from standard prices – the amount varies across business sectors and can be viewed here.
Kevin Miles, international director of the FSF, said “We’re delighted to have been involved in the Donbass Arena Fan Partners scheme. It’s an excellent programme aimed at making England fans feel welcome in Donetsk and confident about the prospects for our visit.
“The Ukrainian partners in the scheme have identified issues of concern to visiting fans, addressed them head on, and made a real effort to offer practical help. It’ll make a big difference in how much fans are looking forward to visiting the city.”
Once a partner has signed up to England Fans Welcome Here, a team from Donbass Arena will audit the business’ service and official status will only be given if they meet the key criteria. Supporters can access the list of providers at the Fans Partners Programme website: www.euro2012.donbass-arena.com.
Constant monitoring will take place throughout Euro 2012 and there will be an English language hotline to help fans with any problems encountered during their stay in Donetsk. The programme is also supported by UEFA and the French Alliance.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk’s commercial director Joe Palmer adds: “I have been living and working in Donetsk for over two years and when I heard that England had been drawn to play here, I was naturally over the moon. However, the current situation regarding the hesitance of English and French fans to come to Donetsk has been tough to watch as I know what this city is capable of providing.
“Unfortunately though, it seems that a small handful of service providers, particularly some accommodation providers, are ruining it for the majority through ridiculous pricing which is grabbing the headlines.
“We hope that this scheme will help to show the real picture and that fans shouldn’t be put off from coming. It won’t be five star luxury, but there are still many options available for fans getting here for a reasonable price. The weather will be fantastic, the streets will be buzzing and fans will have a great time.”
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