LAST June, the all-powerful masters of European football UEFA announced from their foreboding concrete and glass headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, that Glasgow had managed to retain its host city status for the rescheduled Euro 2020 football finals. The relief from all of the key stakeholders which included the SFA, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and VisitScotland was palpable. Despite decades of hurt and failure on the pitch, they had doggedly, determinedly, and successfully fought to put Glasgow and Scotland back on the world's footballing stage. Global pandemic or not, they were resolute and united in keeping the ball in play and our hopes of being one of the eleven co-hosts of this elite international tournament alive and kicking.

To have had lost out would have cost this “dear green place” dear. Not just in status and prestige but economically. The Scottish Government predicted “a positive impact”, and the three Group D matches scheduled for Hampden Park on June 14, 18 and 22, as well as a last 16 match on June 29, was conservatively valued at £100million for this economically ravaged city.

Not only that, the skint SFA were also quids in, and a big fat cheque was now winging its way over from UEFA's bank vaults. In November, their projected bank balance looked to become even healthier, by at least another £10million.

Then – yabba dabba doo! – our international boys in blue did what no other Scotland team has managed to do in over 23 years. They marched down the road in Serbia and qualified. The first time Scotland has managed to qualify for a major tournament since the World Cup in France in 1998. Ya beauty, Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, and we all drooled and boogied that night, socially distanced of course.

Today, the day that Euro 2020 finally kicks off, seven months on from that unforgettable night in Belgrade, Scotland’s hospitality and licence trade operators have again unfairly been shown the red card.

Forget singing an out of tune refrain of Flower of Scotland in your local or standing up and shouting at the ref on the TV screen, that disgraceful virus-spreading behaviour will have you sent off and out the door by a terrified-of-the-Covid police - publican, who also needs an events licence to show the games outdoors and give away a free half-time pie...which is total mince.

However, if you're one of the 'lucky' 6000 fans a day who managed to secure a ticket for UEFA's 30-day Fanzone on Glasgow Green, a total tickety boo shambles, then it's game on!

Here, on match days, you can watch the matches on massive screens, have a drink or six in this very dear beer garden, play a game of crazy golf. If you’ve brought your kids along and they get in the way of your footie and pints you can always pack them off to one of the designated play areas. And on non-match days a diverse programme of entertainment will be on offer, including music, dance, comedy, arts, and movies.

Something not allowed for all those living under level 2 restrictions, which most of central Scotland currently does. Soft play areas are closed, nursery graduations are banned, sports days are cancelled, weddings, funerals and wakes are restricted to a maximum of 50 people, with no singing and only one dance allowed, and the maximum limit for an outdoor gig is just 500. As for hospitality, well the baw might not be totally burst, but it’s rapidly losing air.

I initially supported the idea of a fanzone, I thought it was fantastic idea. It could also have been a great Covid test event, but only if Glasgow’s struggling businesses could also share the rewards and benefits this glittering tournament brings with it.

They are not. They have been badly fouled by our unbending, autocratic government, cruelly subbed, and unfairly pulled off the park before they’ve had a decent kick of the baw. As such, the final whistle on it taking place should have been blown.

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