Germans deny England fans their booze but Grealish could return due to Euro 2024 ‘loophole’

Editor F365

The Sun bring us the biggest story not just in football but in the entire world as the build-up to Euro 2024 takes another turn for the deranged.


Only here for the beer
The front page – front page, not back – of Wednesday’s Sun newspaper splashes the fact that fans at England’s opening game of Euro 2024 will be served lower-alcohol beer than at other games.

That this is front-page news is incredible. That The Sun considers this the single biggest news story affecting the UK at this time tells us a few things about The Sun as a newspaper, a few more about this country in general, and perhaps above all else a lot about just how well the Conservative Party’s election campaign is going.

But the story itself is obviously hilarious, with its usual tone of furious indignation at Jonny Foreigner daring to do anything to stop England fans having some good, clean harmless drunken fun, as is their birthright.

The move comes amid fears of violence between Serbia and England fans, and we ask you to note the contrasting way these two groups are described here.

Security bosses have made the move amid fears Serbian yobs are planning to face off with tipsy England supporters

Foreigners are ‘yobs’, you see, while England supporters are merely ‘tipsy’. Like your aunt on Boxing Day.

Concerns have risen after German police intelligence warned organised gangs of Serb thugs are converging on the game and could clash with boozy English followers.

Foreigners are ‘thugs’. England supporters are just ‘boozy’.

But better than the daft indignant story itself is the absurd video that accompanies it online.

Here, two middle-aged Sun reporters test some full-strength German beer and also some alcohol-free German beer and performatively pretend that while the full-strength beer is fine, the alcohol-free one is so wretchedly undrinkable it must be instantly spat out across the table.

It is a genuinely pathetic sight.

But it isn’t even accurate. As their own story makes clear, the beer on offer at the stadium will just be lower alcohol beer, not completely alcohol-free.

England fans had been looking forward to downing the 4.8 per cent strength Bitburger Premium in stadium bars. But the brew will now be replaced by a much weaker alternative.

The clash with Serbia is the only group game where fans will be served a maximum of two pints at a time of a 2.5 per cent ‘Radler-style’ beer — half lager and half citrus soda.

So it really is a double victory for silliness. Performatively spitting out a beer that isn’t even the offensively weak beer in question.

And we’re supposed to accept that Jonny Foreigner is the villain of this story?

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FIVE alive
Speaking of The Sun, who remembers yesterday’s panic about Gareth Southgate sweating on the fitness of five – sorry, FIVE key players?

Any update, lads?

ROARING LIONS: Gareth Southgate handed huge England injury boost as ALL 26 stars train ahead of Euro 2024 opener

Phew. Almost like that was a complete load of old b*llocks, wasn’t it?

And Southgate was given a much-needed boost as his entire squad took part in the session.

Southgate was reportedly sweating on the fitness of FIVE players ahead of England’s Group C opener on Sunday night.

It was claimed that Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, John Stones, Luke Shaw and star midfielder Jude Bellingham were all injury concerns.

It certainly was claimed, yes.


Screen test
Completing the trifecta of b*llocks from The Sun today, we have this.

Gareth Southgate takes leaf out of Jose Mourinho’s book with England training tactic ahead of Euro 2024

Right, what utter ridiculousness have you got for us here, Charlie Wyett?

England are renting a massive outside TV screen from RB Leipzig to help with their Euro 2024 preparations.

The screen has been left by Germany who used it directly next to their training pitch during their stay at the Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land last week.

German boss Julian Nagelsmann borrowed it from his former club Leipzig.

Sigh. Okay, fine, whatever. But this sounds like Southgate’s taking a leaf out of Julian Nagelsmann’s book, if anything.

England boss Gareth Southgate has decided not to have the high-tech equipment next to the training pitch.

But it has been moved elsewhere at the Three Lions’ base camp to be used for analysis with the players.

Oh. So he hasn’t even done that. He’s using a big TV in a different way. But we still don’t see where Mourinho fits in to this?

We revealed previously how Jose Mourinho used screens to help him in training at Roma – although he had his pitchside.

For fu… Really does feel like ‘pitchside’ is quite an important detail here. Unless we accept that the use of TV screens in general is a Mourinho invention, this story is actually ‘Julian Nagelsmann takes leaf out of Jose Mourinho’s book’. Or possibly the other way round. Who knows. Or cares.


Jack’s back
We’re a bit embarrassed about this. We saw this headline on the Mail website:

Revealed: The UEFA ‘loophole’ that could still see Jack Grealish get called up to England’s Euro 2024 squad… after Man City star was left out the 26-man group heading to Germany

And to our never-ending shame we clicked on it thinking ‘Surely this can’t just be ‘you are allowed to replace injured players’ because that is not in any way a loophole?’

Mediawatch has never before felt like such a sweet summer child.

However, despite narrowly missing out on the Three Lions squad heading to Germany, it’s now emerged that a ‘loophole’ in the rulebook could still see him at the Euros.

According to Article 48 of UEFA’s official tournament regulations, players can be replaced if they ‘become seriously injured or ill’.

Yes, this is still on us for underestimating the depths to which tabloids will stoop, but the sheer gumption of describing this long-standing, frequently utilised and entirely standard tournament playing condition as a ‘loophole’ that has ’emerged’ and now ‘Revealed’ is making our head spin.

It’s such an obscure loophole that it’s already been used at this tournament, with the Netherlands calling up Ian Maatsen to replace the injured Teun Koopmeiners. Perhaps that’s how it ’emerged’.

Don’t go getting your Grealish-emblazoned woke flag-mangling England shirt printed just yet, though, for the Mail bring sad tidings.

However, Grealish’s inclusion in the Three Lions squad seems extremely unlikely given the fact he is reportedly in Dubai now.

We’re going to skate right on past the thorny philosophical puzzle of whether something can be both ‘reportedly’ and a ‘fact’ simultaneously. We’re mainly just worried about what will happen to Daily Mail journalists when they learn this loophole could apply to any player and not just Grealish.

We truly fear their heads may too fall clean off.


Sesko says so
It’s not all Euro 2024 b*llocks out there, though. There’s still transfer b*llocks too, because that simply can never and will never end.

The Mirror today bring us this headline:

Benjamin Sesko explains why he rejected Arsenal transfer after favouring move

And Mediawatch can frankly barely be arsed to even ask you, dear reader, to guess precisely how many times Sesko mentioned Arsenal or indeed any other club when talking about signing a contract extension with RB Leipzig. We know the answer, you know the answer. Let’s just move on with our lives.


The cap fits
Of course, the big late breaking news story on Tuesday night came with the news that Erik Ten Hag would be staying as Manchester United manager. And it turns out the Mail had the story hours before everyone else, but none of us noticed or believed them.

Erik ten Hag sips on red wine on holiday with his wife – and a subtle hint on his cap – as he awaits Man United’s decision on whether to sack him

Even the Mail weren’t as confident as they should have been! Have the courage of your convictions! The subtle hint was spot on! Because what was this hint?

He was also wearing a cap emblazoned with the logo ‘BOSS’ on the side. Perhaps a subtle hint that he was assured of staying at Old Trafford? Who knows.

Who knows indeed. But what a sliding doors moment that is. How different the world might look today had he instead picked up a cap made by Hugo Sacked.