Watching Euro 2008 unfold in Austria and Switzerland has suddenly lost its appeal to fans of the home nations. So what else will there be to do next June?
Euro 2008? What's that?
At 9.31pm on Wednesday, June 2008 looked pretty sorted for England football fans.
Barbecues, pub time, nights in front of the telly watching the Three Lions lose on penalties. Maybe a trip to Austria and catch a couple of games before the miserable, dispiriting exit.
But then Mladen Petric fired in Croatia's winner from 25 yards and those three summer weeks suddenly screamed "VACANT".
It's the same for the rest of the British Isles, which is providing no team at a major football tournament for the first time since 1984.
As this sad news sinks in, many fans will think the summer is cancelled, but don't lose heart.
To be reprised at Wimbledon...
1. See England players perform with passion, skill and tactical nous by watching their clubs' 2007-8 videos, while Scottish and Northern Irish fans reflect on spirited campaigns.
2. Salute Steve McClaren - the Daily Mail-christened "Wally with the Brolly" - by showing off your umbrella at a rain-soaked, Murray-laden Wimbledon.
3. Join the former England boss on a summer tour promoting his autobiography, Mac the Life. The final chapter details his astonishing transformation from FA reject to the saviour of Derby County, taking them from the bottom at Christmas to their first Premiership title as champions.
4. Go to Austria and Switzerland anyway on an alpine yodelling trip or Sound of Music tour. The home of Maria and the Von Trapps will surely be a better place without England fans playing Dam Busters in the street. And if the football happens to be on telly in a bar, cheer a Premiership club. They're well represented, except for Spurs, which has practised the misguided policy of buying English.
5. Bask in the glow of Eurovision Song Contest glory. With no football to distract the nation, it's the chance to unite behind the British entry in Belgrade at the end of May. Terry Venables has got nothing on and he owes England fans, so maybe he could reprise his famous England Crazy, that reached number 46 in 2002. Or I Did It His Way?
6. Witness the great migration of the Wildebeest across the Serengeti. England fans will be well used to seeing hairy lumps lumbering across bumpy terrain after Wednesday's static display on an uneven Wembley pitch.
7. Watch other sports. Who needs Euro 2008 when there's Lewis Hamilton storming through his second Formula One season, a Rugby League World Cup and an England Test series against New Zealand? The Olympics in Beijing will be just round the corner, starting with football on 6 August, and the squash world championships in Manchester in October will showcase top British talent such as Nick Matthew and Tania Bailey. (And 2009 is the big year for sport anyway, with the Ashes series at home, the Twenty20 World Cup and a Lions tour to South Africa.)
8. Get in touch with your inner self in the Lost Vagueness field at Glastonbury. It has a reputation as the most anarchic and warped place at the festival, so any references to the Euro 2008 final happening the same weekend will be few and far between. Stay there long enough and one could be convinced that Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland/England (delete as applicable) has won the thing.
9. Follow the selection process for the new England manager. It will still be unfolding eight months from now and remains a fine spectator sport. One by one the best candidates will drop out as their involvement in FA talks is leaked while they're trying to win 2008.
10. See a European tournament that matters. There's the European Brass Band Championships in Norway, the Euro 2008 handball champs, also in Norway, the European figure skating championships in Croatia and the European Kendo Championships in Finland.
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I'll start watching at the semi-finals and just pretend England have been knocked out on penalties in the previous round.
Tim Rose, Brighton
Instead of watching Euro 2008, develop a smug grin and the ability to fill a blazer. Obtain your coaching badges, be ginger and get a job managing a club football team during which time make sure no player except the keeper is playing in his actual position. Upon completing the aforementioned tasks, you will be thrust into the frame for the England manager's job, Say yes to every question they ask at the job interview, pay no heed to the other candidates offered the job before you who have turned it down, accept the job and sit back and wait for the public adoration to roll in.
Chrisy J, Hull, England
Create a scrapbook of photos of the England team on various holidays in yachts off the South of France, poolside in the Maldives or shopping in Las Vegas or New York. Obviously, they'd all much rather be sharing a room with colleagues, away from their wives/girlfriends for six weeks in Austria... yeah right!
11) Apply to be a volunteer, like me, and see the tournament from the inside. Will I be England's only representative in Austria next year?
Mike Lister, Bath, England
I shall be following Louis Hamilton. Unlike the FA, he at least still has his McClaren, and IS going to Switzerland next year..!
Steve Spiers, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
With England out of the competition perhaps it's time to realise that you do still have a family and that this is a good opportunity to go on that cycling holiday you've been on about for the last 15 years. Now how to convince the wife and kids that Austria is a good place for it??
As a Welshman, all I can say is "welcome to my world"
There will be a British team in Austria for a European competition - The British Raft Teams are competing there against the best in Europe.
Ruth Gross, Nottingham
Do something for world peace and adopt a country to support. There are many brilliant national football teams out there to choose from, personally I am going to cheer for Sweden. Unbeaten by England for 40 years.
...Or just follow the women's football team. They're representing this country too, you know.
You have brought a smile to my face. I think it is fabulous news we are out. No embarrassing hooliganism. And more room for a decent conversation with the British man!
11. Switch to rugby instead....real men, real aggression and passion and not a prima-donna footie player in sight. Bliss......
My English cousins look north for advice on what to do this summer. As a nation of veterans when it comes to football-less summers may I suggest picnics, Cluedo, the internet and lager. For the more adventurous among you there is golf, walking the dog and my personal favourite, weeding the garden.
If Croatia can beat us, then surely they're the favourites to win the tournament! I, for one, will be supporting our evictors. Showing Europe that we were only knocked out by the champions.
Back to the good old days of picking strawberries I think. Anyway, that's what being British is all about, not the hooliganism that is corrupting the beautiful game.
This is a ridiculous article. Anyone who does not watch Euro 2008 is clearly not a football fan!
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