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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Fans face euro 'shock'
Glasgow euro graphic
Shops are not geared up to accept the euro
Football fans arriving in Glasgow for the Champions League final are in for a shock when they try to spend their euros, they have been warned.

Tens of thousands of supporters are travelling to the Scottish city from Germany and Spain to watch Bayer Leverkusen take on Real Madrid at Hampden Park on Wednesday.

The event, which is expected to generate 20m for the area, will place Glasgow on a worldwide stage in front of an expected television audience of 300 million.


I believe many fans will arrive not realising that Britain isn't in the euro zone

Duncan Tannahill
But the chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said that the fans attending the game may be surprised that the city's shops and restaurants are not geared up for the euro.

Duncan Tannahill said that a few stores, such as Marks and Spencer, were already committed to accepting the single currency.

But he said: "There is little evidence that of any other businesses doing anything to be able to take the currency."

He admitted to being surprised that there would not even be any facilities at Hampden which would allow fans to spend the euro when buying things like food or match programmes.

He told BBC News Online Scotland: "I believe many fans will arrive not realising that Britain isn't in the euro zone and they will have a shock when they realise that they cannot spend their euro notes in Glasgow."

Glasgow pavement cafe
Glasgow premises are preparing to welcome fans
He said the city's hotels were unlikely to see any effect because most of those travelling to the city would be paying their bills on credit cards.

But he admitted that some stores could lose out if fans were shopping for gifts to take and found that their currency was not accepted.

"I would imagine that there is an opportunity for the banks to do quite a lot of trade in currency conversion," he said.

He put the reason for this lack of interest in the euro question down to "apathy".

"I think businesses are not interested in the euro as a subject."

Changing perceptions

The Chamber of Commerce is running an event on the euro later this week in an attempt to stimulate interest - but has "toiled" to get firms to attend the seminar.

"Business doesn't see it as an issue for the UK as yet, but that perception will change gradually," he predicted.

However, there are plenty other preparations being made as the city prepares for European club football's biggest match of the season.

Mr Tannahill said there would be a range of benefits for Glasgow in both the short and long-term.

Real president Florentino Perez
Real president Florentino Perez met fans in Glasgow
Parts of the city have been tidied up in advance of the match, including the Hampden area itself.

"There is also the feel-good feeling that Glaswegians get from hosting a major event," he said.

The immediate effect of the 20m which will be generated for the city over the coming days will largely benefit hotels, bars, restaurants and shops.

In addition to the fans who will pack the 52,000-seater stadium, there will also be an estimated 3,000 journalists in the city to cover the match - which may also provide a spin-off for other local companies.

"The long-term benefit comes in terms of mainland Europe seeing Glasgow hosting an event of this scale and nature," he continued.

"Hopefully we are being portrayed as a friendly city.

Hampden Park
Hampden has a capacity of 52,000
"You can't buy that type of PR, and it will be of long-term benefit to the city as a whole."

Shops, bars and restaurants in Glasgow have been gearing up for the event and the chance to look after the visiting fans.

Mr Tannahill said that on a personal basis he was sorry that Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United team had not made it to the final in the manager's home city.

But looking at the final's line-up from an economic point of view, he added: "The fact that it is two continental teams has the benefit of them coming over for a short break.

"They will come over and spend more money and make more of a holiday of it, rather than just going to a football match."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Morag Kinniburgh reports
"Many centres will be offered Euros for the first time."
See also:

14 May 02 | Scotland
13 May 02 | Scotland
11 May 02 | Scotland
09 May 02 | Scotland
15 Apr 02 | Scotland
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