The Three Lions head into the Euros next week already one down against Scotland – when it comes to hotel stars.
As footie fans get ready for the next best thing to the World Cup, we can reveal Scotland are leading England 5-4 on quality of digs at the start of the three week tournament.
But the great news for both countries as well as Wales is the Euros are expected to bring a £1billion boost to Britain’s pandemic-hit economy.
The footie bonanza kicks off next Friday.
England’s first game against Croatia at Wembley is on Sunday and they face the Scots on June 18.
But until then the blue shirts will shade bragging rights, accommodation-wise.
England captain Harry Kane and the rest of the squad will be staying at the four-star Hilton at the Football Association’s St George’s Park HQ at Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire.
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No WAGs will be with them because of restrictions.
It has a health club and swimming pool as well as pictures of Three Lions greats on its walls.
Meanwhile Scotland players will check into the five-star Rockliffe Hall near Darlington, Co Durham – with an award winning spa and an 18-hole championship golf course.
TripAdvisor rates both hotels as ‘Excellent’ and both get 4.5 /5 on the comparison website.
But there were the odd own goals highlighted by reviewers.
Grumbles about the 228-room Hilton – with prices up to up to £166 for a standard room and from £508 for the presidential suite – included poor service.
One complainant on the site said: “To compensate us they knocked two sandwiches off our bill. I’d never stop here again – rather sleep in the car.”
The Rockcliffe, which charges up to £415 a night, boasts that it is “set on a magnificent 18th century estate on the banks of the River Tees” and is a “destination in itself ”.
But not all guests have been happy. One wrote on TripAdvisor : “A very underwhelming experience. Paid £440 for a room where the temperature hit 30C in the night.”
However both hotels also hit the back of the net for the majority of guests posting glowing reviews.
But it’s doubtful either team will sleep that well, however comfortable the beds, before the landmark clash – with Scotland after revenge for their 2-0 defeat at Wembley in an unforgettable Euros match 25 years ago.
Nerves among fans are already jangling as they prepare for the international football feast of 51 matches, which was postponed last year as the pandemic hit.
And one of the biggest winners in the tournament is thankfully expected to be the British economy.
Experts predict a month long beer and barbecue spending frenzy.
Beer sales alone are expected bring in more than £700million for Covid-hit pubs.
And millions more will be spent on food, drink, merchandise and TVs – booting the total past the billion pound mark.
It’ll be a much-needed boost for embattled high streets reeling from months of lockdowns and restrictions.
One in seven shops stands empty following the closure of 16,000 retailers over the past year – while 2,000 pubs across the land are unable to open at all as they are too small to provide a table service only.
Emma McClarkin of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “The Euros are a chance for people to get back to their local as they support the home nations.
“We hope millions of Brits will be cheering on England, Scotland and Wales with a fresh pint of beer. “Of course, the tournament is tinged with regret as our pubs are still subject to significant restrictions.
“But we remain hopeful the second part of the tournament will allow them to operate at full capacity as the Government sticks to its commitment of lifting all restrictions on June 21.”
The Centre for Economics and Business Research reckons Brits will splash out £720million in bars – £104million more than would have been spent if the tournament was not being played.
Heineken, one of the sponsors of Euro 2020, expects 300,000 pints will be served at Wembley where England’s three group stage matches will be played, involving Coatia and the Czech Republic as well as Scotland.
Spokesman Michael Gillane said: “We’re anticipating around eight million people will be heading to their local to watch the matches.
“And for those people lucky enough to get a Wembley ticket we’re gearing up to serve hundreds of thousands of fans from the stadium’s bars.”
Joshua Bamfield for the Centre of Retail Research, which tracks high street spending, said: “The Euros are bound to lead to a big surge in sales of TV sets and replica shirts and no doubt a fantastic amount of souvenirs such as England flags.
“I would have thought that TV sales should rise by 10%.”
James Hardiman, analyst at the British Retail Consortium, which represents high street stores, said: “The arrival of Euro 2020, along with the improved weather, could provide retailers with a welcome boost to sales over June and July. We would expect sales of alcohol, snacks and BBQ-related products to all rise as a result.”
An FA spokesman said last night: “St George’s Park is a world-class hotel and training centre that has hosted elite sports teams including England’s football, rugby and cricket squads as well as Premier League and international clubs.”