I have set up the business, My Football Cities, because I love football and I love travel. Simple as that.
In my book of the same name, being published later this year, I talk about my life watching football, starting in Kent, progressing to London, the rest of England, to Europe and beyond. I am a Chelsea fan, but first and foremost, I am a football fan and would travel, within reason, to watch anyone play, anywhere.
Although I grew up in England, when we moved to the Netherlands in 2014 it allowed me to get to know another country’s league, the Eredivisie, and attend a number of international matches at the fantastic Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam. The Netherlands borders Belgium and Germany and, given the ease of train travel around Europe, it is very easy to get from my new home to many cities in all of those countries. Multi-match weekends therefore become a very realistic possibility.
Making the most of a weekend built around one or more football matches has become one of my favourite pastimes over the years. The football is a big part of it, yes, but so is exploring the city and seeing the sights. I could not tell you how many matches I have attended in my life, but a quick count up of the countries in which I have seen at least one game currently stands at thirteen. I wrote articles on two of the cities that I visited, The Hague and Oslo, which were published in the monthly magazine, Football Weekends. I enjoy the independence of arranging my own flights and train journeys, I like trying out new hotels and, sometimes stubbornly, finding my way around a new city with no assistance. But I know that isn't everyone’s cup of tea. A lot of people like to know that they are staying in a reputable hotel in a safe area, convenient for the stadium and city sightseeing. They like to know that their match tickets are all sorted and what is on the must-see list in each city.
So that is what we provide at My Football Cities. I personally know each hotel that we include in our trips, because I would not suggest that anybody stays in a hotel that I wouldn’t stay in myself. Likewise, every stadium that is featured has been visited by me, so that advice can be given on directions to the ground, the best form of transport and what food and drink is available nearby. In short, My Football Cities has done all the hard work (if visiting all these places can be described as hard work), so that you can just go and enjoy yourself.
With so many different transport options available around Europe, we have decided not to include travel from home to your chosen football city in our trips. We allow you to have the flexibility of choosing that for yourself. We do, however, include rail travel between the cities where we offer multi-city trips.
Our list of cities and matches extends beyond what you might call the 'obvious' choices. Yes, it is wonderful to visit the superstadiums and marvel at their sheer enormity and we can certainly help you with a trip to see some of Europe's biggest and most successful clubs. But how about trying something different, maybe AZ Alkmaar, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Royal Antwerp or Bologna? We have a few ideas that you may not have thought of. Personally, I love sitting down with the fixtures list of neighbouring leagues and seeing what is possible to plan over a two, three or four day period. I wonder if I can realistically plan a Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday lunchtime match before returning home. A couple of hours on the train between cities is part of the whole experience. With the Europa League being played on a Thursday, that just adds another element to the equation.
If you have any queries or questions or concerns, just email me at email@example.com and I will do my very best to help you.
Football travel articles published by Simon Pask
Article on Den Haag
Article on Oslo
Football Weekends Magazine
May 2019 / Issue 44
Football Weekends Magazine
November 2019 / Issue 50