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Boris says left your staff watch the England game

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Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer have both urged employers to let their staff finish work early to watch England’s blockbuster Euro 2020 clash with Germany as football fans pile into pubs and thousands of supporters descend on Wembley and let off flares.  

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley to watch Gareth Southgate’s squad battle the Germans for a place in the quarter-finals from 5pm, while millions more are expected to head to their local – with some even hitting the boozers from as early as 7am this morning.

The Prime Minister and Labour leader both called on bosses to let their staff finish early amid fears some will be stuck in the office at kick-off. Ahead of the match, Chancellor Rishi Sunak shared a photo of himself pulling on an England jersey with the caption: ‘Bring it on.’

The match is one of the most anticipated in recent memory, with fan parks sold out and more than five million pints expected to be bought. Supporters got into the swing of things early this morning with a beer garden in Sheffield filled with fans clutching pints and wearing England shirts at 7am. 

Meanwhile the Kirby housing estate in London was also draped in dozens of England flags ahead of the game, in scenes mirrored across the nation.  

Others took to social media to reveal they will be taking a sick day to ensure they can watch the match, with some lucky supporters revealing they will even be allowed to finish early by sympathetic bosses – meaning they will join around 22 million English fans set to tune in.  

And one fan keen to join in on the fun wrote on Twitter today: ‘I’ve got a stomach ache on the morning that England face Germany. I think my boss would kill me if I phoned in sick today! But I’m feeling [sick]. Damnit! Come on England!’  

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson hopes to watch as much of the England v Germany match as possible ‘in between his work commitments’ and is sending Southgate’s squad ‘the best of luck ahead of this afternoon’s game’. 

The spokesman added that ‘whenever possible we would want businesses and employers to make accommodations for people to be able to watch the match, if they are happy to do so’.

‘It’s for employers and managers, they are best placed to make those decisions on a case-by-case basis,’ the spokesman said. ‘The Prime Minister himself is hoping to see as much of the game as possible in between his work commitments.’

Sir Keir tweeted: ‘Good luck to @England ahead of today’s game against Germany. Staff should be allowed to finish early so they can watch the match.’  

The Big Tree pub in Sheffield welcomed fired up fans in England shirts filter into its beer garden from the moment they opened their doors this morning, while the Greene King taproom has been dubbed the ‘best decorated’ in the UK after they draped the premises with more than 500 flags and 2,000 feet of bunting.

And today, it was filled with patriotic punters who joined in with a chorus of Baddiel and Skinner’s mega hit Three Lions as they sank pints hours ahead of kick off.

One eager supporter took the day off work and was knocking back a pint of Stella Artois at 7am. Mark Hartley, 40, woke up bright and early because he was so excited about the match and got to the pub shortly after they opened to down the ‘first of many’ pints.

He said: ‘I can’t wait, I have taken the day off and it’s going to be a fantastic occasion. If you’re not getting the day off, what are you doing? Two big teams going against each other, how could you miss this?’

The historic fixture, one of international football’s most intense rivalries, saw the sides meet in the 1996 World Cup final at Wembley. In the 1970 World Cup, it was West Germany that put an end to England’s campaign in extra time.

Fans arrive at Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley to Gareth Southgate's squad battle the Germans for a place in the quarter-finals from 5pm

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley to Gareth Southgate’s squad battle the Germans for a place in the quarter-finals from 5pm

The Prime Minister and Labour leader both called called on bosses to let their staff finish early amid fears some will be stuck in the office at kick-off

The Prime Minister and Labour leader both called called on bosses to let their staff finish early amid fears some will be stuck in the office at kick-off

Fans arrive at Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany

Fans arrive at Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany

Millions are expected to head to pubs across the country for the game - though there are fears some will be stuck at work because of the 5pm kick-off

Millions are expected to head to pubs across the country for the game – though there are fears some will be stuck at work because of the 5pm kick-off

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley to watch the match and many shared photos of their pints as they headed to London

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley to watch the match and many shared photos of their pints as they headed to London

The contest against Germany is one of the most-anticipated in recent memory, with fan parks sold out across the country and more than five million pints expected to be bought during the clash

The contest against Germany is one of the most-anticipated in recent memory, with fan parks sold out across the country and more than five million pints expected to be bought during the clash

England football fans Adam Cotton, 29 (left) and Anthony Brown, 28 (right) ahead of the England vs Germany game at the Big Tree, Greene King pub in Sheffield

England football fans Adam Cotton, 29 (left) and Anthony Brown, 28 (right) ahead of the England vs Germany game at the Big Tree, Greene King pub in Sheffield

England football fans (left to right) Alisia Shaw, 18, Chris Shaw, 40, Sean Foster, 40, and Rory Hibbert, 25, ahead of the England vs Germany game at the Big Tree, Greene King pub in Sheffield

England football fans (left to right) Alisia Shaw, 18, Chris Shaw, 40, Sean Foster, 40, and Rory Hibbert, 25, ahead of the England vs Germany game at the Big Tree, Greene King pub in Sheffield

England football fans Anthony Brown, 28 (left) and Adam Cotton, 29 (right), ahead of the England vs Germany game at the Big Tree, Greene King pub in Sheffield

England football fans Anthony Brown, 28 (left) and Adam Cotton, 29 (right), ahead of the England vs Germany game at the Big Tree, Greene King pub in Sheffield

Fans arrive at Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany

Fans arrive at Wembley ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany

England fans get the beers in at Box Park Wembley ahead of the match with Germany at 5pm

England fans get the beers in at Box Park Wembley ahead of the match with Germany at 5pm

England fans pile into a pub in Sheffield at 7am this morning ahead of today's match with Germany

England fans pile into a pub in Sheffield at 7am this morning ahead of today’s match with Germany 

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley with the vast majority being England fans. Some took to social media to share their preparations for the match

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley with the vast majority being England fans. Some took to social media to share their preparations for the match

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley with the vast majority being England fans. Some took to social media to share their preparations for the match

England fans across the country flocked to Wembley for the game - with millions set to watch at home or in a pub

England fans across the country flocked to Wembley for the game - with millions set to watch at home or in a pub

England fans across the country flocked to Wembley for the game – with millions set to watch at home or in a pub 

Others took to social media to reveal they will be taking a sick day to ensure they can watch the match, with some lucky supporters revealing they will even be allowed to finish early by sympathetic bosses - meaning they will join around 22 million English fans set to tune in

Others took to social media to reveal they will be taking a sick day to ensure they can watch the match, with some lucky supporters revealing they will even be allowed to finish early by sympathetic bosses – meaning they will join around 22 million English fans set to tune in

England v Germany 2021: The latest clash in one of international football’s most intense rivalries 

The historic fixture, one of international football’s most intense rivalries, saw the sides meet in the 1996 World Cup final at Wembley. In the 1970 World Cup, it was West Germany that put an end to England’s campaign in extra time. 

Germany knocked England out of the World Cup in 1990 and Euro 1996 on penalties in the semi final stages. In the Wembley clash 25 years, current manager Southgate famously missed a penalty that saw England crash out of the tournament they were hosting.

England crashed out of the World Cup 2010 to the Germans in a humiliating 4-1 defeat, the last time the sides met at a major tournament.  

Germany knocked England out of the World Cup in 1990 and Euro 1996 on penalties in the semi final stages. In the Wembley clash 25 years, current manager Southgate famously missed a penalty that saw England crash out of the tournament they were hosting.

England crashed out of the World Cup 2010 to the Germans in a humiliating 4-1 defeat, the last time the sides met at a major tournament. But cautiously optimistic Mark said he was expecting to roar the Three Lions to victory in a ‘close game’ that could heal England’s tortured history in the fixture.

He added: ‘I think it’s going to be an extremely tough match which can go either way. But it’s going to be a special, special day. All I’ll say is that it’s coming home.’

A group of builders from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, cancelled their work plans at 8.30am this morning to head to the boozer in anticipation of the match.

They sent a text to their boss to tell them they were detouring to the pub to watch the three lions instead of going to their scheduled job.

The festivities started at 10am when they sunk into their first pint of Stella Artois – and they expect to add shots of Jager to the fray as the day goes on.

Sean Foster, 40, said: ‘We texted the boss and we’ve yet to hear back but we couldn’t miss this. It was a spur of the moment thing but I think deep down we knew we’d be watching the match.

‘I’m feeling a bit nervous but mostly excited. It’s going to be 50/50.’

Chris Shaw, 40, who is at the pub with his daughter Allisia, 18, said there was no better reason to enjoy a day out after all the sacrifices made during the lockdown.

The builder said: ‘I’m happy we’ve decided to take the day off, it’s going to be worth it. These kinds of days don’t come around often and you don’t want to miss them. After Covid I think we deserve to have days out like this with pals, enjoying pints and being out.

‘If ever there was a reason to come out and enjoy life, this is it. We’ve all made so many sacrifices and I’m just glad to be here today. It’s going to be an unforgettable day.

‘But I’m a little worried about the state I will be in tomorrow. I’m excited about the match, there is so much history between the nations but I like our chances. It’s coming home.’ 

Balconies and landings adorned with England flags at the Kirby housing estate in London

Balconies and landings adorned with England flags at the Kirby housing estate in London

Fans across the country are getting into the spirit ahead of the England vs Germany match at 5pm today

Fans across the country are getting into the spirit ahead of the England vs Germany match at 5pm today

More than 22 million people are expected to watch the game in pubs and in homes on Tuesday

More than 22 million people are expected to watch the game in pubs and in homes on Tuesday

Luckier fans shared how their bosses would be letting them finish early ahead of the match

Luckier fans shared how their bosses would be letting them finish early ahead of the match

Daughter Allisia, also a construction worker, said she convinced her dad to get the day off work and urged England manager Gareth Southgate to ‘just go for it’.

She said: ‘I was buzzing to get the day off work, I was the one who told my dad we should do it. I instigated it a little bit. I’ve been drinking the VK blues and I plan on outdrinking everyone here.

‘I’m quite excited I think it’s going to be a fantastic day with an even better atmosphere – it’s what you live for. Coming out of lockdown, and being able to be out here feels like pure freedom.

‘I think it’s definitely coming home, and if I had a word of advice for Southgate, I’d tell him to just go for it.’

Rory Hibbert, 25, who was enjoying a pint of Carling, said there was ‘no chance in hell’ he’d miss a match against Germany.

The builder from Sheffield said: ‘I’m chuffed to bits to be here. There was no chance in hell I’d miss it. Anyone who is working today is completely mad. I think the match could go either way, but I’m excited. I’m enjoying my pints of Stella and I hope they keep coming.’

Anthony Brown, 28, said he will be so drunk tonight that while he believes football’s coming home, he won’t be able to make it home. The confident sales executive said he predicts England will hammer the Germans 5-0.

He said: ‘I had to swap my shifts on the last minute but I told my boss I had to have the day off. Many of the big teams are out now so I think our path to victory is looking good. I’ve started drinking at 10am, and all I know is that while football is coming home, I most definitely won’t be.

‘My girlfriend already told me I can’t come home if I’m in a state. But today is shaping up to be a brilliant day, full of drinks and football fans all enjoying themselves. Football is just incredible, it brings people together in a way that nothing else does. It’s magic.

‘I hope Southgate starts Grealish I think he’d provide an injection of flair and attacking quality.’ 

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley for the match with England fans warned to stay vigilant as touts offer tickets for up to £10,000 online

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley for the match with England fans warned to stay vigilant as touts offer tickets for up to £10,000 online

He added that the match was a chance for Southgate to get revenge who famously missed his penalty against the Germans at Euro 1996.

While his friend Adam Cotton, 29, said he told his boss that he was going to take the day off work so he could ‘get blasted’.

Adam, from Barnsley, said: ‘After the last match I told the gaffer I was going to take the next match off so I could get blasted. So here am I, first pint in, on my way to get absolutely blasted.

‘I think there’s a real buzz from everyone here because we fancy our chances. There’s nothing like this atmosphere. Many of the big teams have crashed out so I think we can do really well and go all the way. It’s coming home.

‘There’s nothing like enjoying a day like this in the beer garden, nothing at all. Supporting your country with other people who are proud of the boys. And after Covid, it just puts a smile on your face.’

Another said: ‘Joked about my boss all last week about how I was ‘gonna be ill’ on Tuesday with England playing, sure enough, I’m f***ing sick as a dog.’ 

Luckier fans shared how their bosses would be letting them finish early ahead of the match. 

One wrote: ‘When you think you have to work when England vs Germany is on but your boss lets you leave early.’

Another said: ‘As if my boss is letting us have an early finish for the England game.’

While a third added: ‘The Boss is letting us finish at 4pm today to get home in time for the England game! What a nice gesture.’

Pimlico Plumbers revealed that the match would be shown on screens for employees – with free drinks and snacks available from the canteen.  

Yesterday, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said employers should talk to their staff and make arrangements for the 5pm kick-off.

One fan shared a photo of an email they’d received from their boss which showed a picture of England manager Gareth Southgate alongside the words: ‘You’re going home to watch it coming home!’

The message added that a 4pm finish had been authorised for all workers. 

However, other fans were not as lucky, forcing them to pull a sickie or come up with clever tactics to avoid missing the game. 

One person wrote: ‘Booking a vaccine at 3:30 on Tuesday to finish early at work for the England game.’

Another said: ‘England are playing Tuesday….that’s my sick day sorted.’

While a third added: ‘England-Germany. Taking another sick day and having two pints by noon.’ 

The TUC says flexible working has many benefits for companies such as cutting down on absenteeism and raising productivity.

It added that the rise in home working will mean many employees will already be at home.

Companies could also arrange for the Euros game to be shown somewhere on the premises where appropriate, the TUC has suggested.

Other suggestions include companies allowing staff to start or finish work early or late to allow them to work round the game. 

TUC General Secretary, and England and Arsenal supporter, Frances O’Grady said: ‘Millions of workers around the UK will want to cheer on their national teams in Euro 2020 – especially after the tournament was postponed last year.

‘Bosses should talk to their staff and try and let people who want to watch the games do so, either at work or at home – and then claim back their time afterwards. 

Meanwhile, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) hopes eight million pints will be sold today, with 5.25 million of those served during the last 16 fixture between the Three Lions and Germany

Meanwhile, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) hopes eight million pints will be sold today, with 5.25 million of those served during the last 16 fixture between the Three Lions and Germany

‘Whether it’s about major sporting events like Euro 2020, attending a medical appointment or picking up the kids from school, allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier. It cuts absenteeism and raises productivity.’

Around 45,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley for the match with England fans warned to stay vigilant as touts offer tickets for up to £10,000 online. 

Websites viewed by MailOnline are flogging tickets for the match for as high as £3,000, though it was reported in the Times that some were going for as much as £10,000, with campaigners urging supporters to ‘avoid them like the plague’. 

Official tickets were initially allocated in a ballot, with those who were successful but unable to attend the game urged to sell their seats at the price they paid and to registered friends via the UEFA app.

But the newspaper claims some supporters are instead making a huge profit by advertising their tickets on secondary sites, accepting inflated payments and then transferring the electronic tickets to buyers by registering them as friends.

The sites selling pricey seats seen by MailOnline include LiveFootballTickets, which is offering tickets from £693.50 to £3,000 – plus a hefty £900 ‘service fee’.

Another site, Seatsnet, has tickets going for as much as £1,100, while Ticombo charges up to £1,759. 

Meanwhile, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) hopes eight million pints will be sold today, with 5.25 million of those served during the last 16 fixture between the Three Lions and Germany.

The ongoing limitations mean beer sales will be 1.3 million pints lower during England’s match than if it was shown in pubs without restrictions, the BBPA estimates. 

Websites viewed by MailOnline are flogging tickets for the match for as high as £3,000, though it was reported in the Times that some were going for as much as £10,000, with campaigners urging supporters to 'avoid them like the plague'

Websites viewed by MailOnline are flogging tickets for the match for as high as £3,000, though it was reported in the Times that some were going for as much as £10,000, with campaigners urging supporters to ‘avoid them like the plague’

The trade body claimed this would result in more than £5 million revenue lost to pubs in England during the game.

It said some of its members had reported beer sales were lower than hoped for during the Euro 2020 tournament so far.

According to a BBPA survey of 1,000 pub-goers at the end of May, 85 per cent of pub-visiting football fans believe current Covid-19 restrictions will negatively impact their experience of watching Euro 2020 at pubs this summer.

Half said they would be more likely to watch games at a pub if all restrictions were lifted.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive, said: ‘No matter the occasion, England versus Germany is always a big match.’

She added: ‘We know many pubs haven’t experienced the boost to their trade which they’d hoped for from the Euros. No standing and limits on group sizes, as well as social distancing, are severely reducing the number of people who can enjoy the Euros at the pub.

‘With that said, there is still no better place to watch live sport on the telly than at the pub. I implore Three Lions fans to support England and the pub by cheering on the Three Lions at their local.

‘To secure our pubs for future tournaments and national occasions like the Euros, there can be no further delays to the lifting of restrictions.

‘On July 19 all restrictions on pubs must be lifted. We are counting down the days to freedom for our pubs.’

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