Hundreds of football fans in Crawley call for Euro 2020 bank holiday
Hundreds of people in Crawley have signed a petition calling for an extra bank holiday if England win the Euro 2020 championship.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to give workers a day off if the Three Lions beat Italy at Wembley on Sunday night – even if it is not necessarily the following day.
As of 10am on Friday (July 9), 571 people in the constituency of Crawley had signed the petition, which only launched on Thursday.
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They were among 43,061 from across the South East – which has the second-most signatures of England's nine regions.
More than 300,000 fans across the UK had backed the move by Friday morning.
Lee Jones, the petition's creator, said the final's 8pm kick-off is a difficult time for families to plan to be together, but knowing they had an additional day off the next day in the event of an England victory would allow them that opportunity.
He added: “Furthermore, a historic win should be celebrated.
"It would be expected for the winning team to parade the trophy, and a bank holiday would be a perfect time to do this.
"Also, English people would naturally want to continue to enjoy the win, giving the retail and leisure industry a much-needed opportunity to make up lost revenues.”
However, the mechanics for a bank holiday this Monday seem unworkable, given the short turnaround between the final ending late on Sunday night and when the day off would come into effect, potentially an hour later.
Instead, businesses may consider flexible working hours in order to allow staff to sleep off any celebratory or consolatory side effects.
There have been reports that an extra bank holiday could instead fall on July 19 – the so-called "Freedom Day" on which many coronavirus restrictions are proposed to come to an end – or in August.
The order for any bank holiday would have to come from the Queen.
England’s men’s football team are now just one win away from their first major silverware since 1966 after their 2-1 triumph over Denmark on Wednesday.
Mr Johnson, who watched the game at Wembley with his wife Carrie, has wished the national men’s team the “very best” ahead of the final, but said granting a bank holiday would be “tempting fate”.
Downing Street has said it will set out any celebrations such as a victory parade for the England team “in due course”, but has not confirmed whether plans for a potential bank holiday are in motion behind the scenes.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday’s match. Clearly we want England to go all the way and win the final, and then we will set out our plans in due course.”
Mr Johnson has already said pubs in England can stay open until 11.15pm this Sunday to allow for customers to watch the end of the game, in the event of it going to extra-time or penalties.
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Thomas of Gresford has also called for a statue of Gareth Southgate next to Boudica in Westminster if he leads England to Euro 2020 glory.