The basic problem, as many people predicted, is that hotel operators/owners in Kyiv, Donestsk, Liviv and Kharkiv have set prices for hotel rooms during the football tournament in Ukraine, at sky high rates. In some cases 10 (ten) times the normal price.
English football fans are known for their loyalty and will normally follow the England team wherever they are playing. English fans usually show 'full strength' support of the national team.
But the whole process of travelling to Ukraine to support their team is proving a step too far for many. The usual process involved in a football supporters itinerary is ticket, travel, hotel, watch game.
Buying tickets for the games in Ukraine has shown to be not too difficult. In fact it has been reported that UEFA is concerned that not enough tickets have been sold to English fans.
Flights to Ukraine are easier these days but the majority of flights only fly into Kyiv (Borispol) International airport. There is only one low cost operator with regular flights in and out of Ukraine. Wizzair provides flights from London Luton to Kyiv (Zuliany) airport.
The problem is getting to Donetsk from Kyiv. The options are; another flight to Donetsk, an overnight train to Donetsk (if you know how to buy the tickets) or a bus ride to Donetsk.
The next stage is booking a hotel room. UEFA have done a great job in planning and organising various agencies to help book hotels and offer package deals. See: http://www.accom2012.com/Accom2012
However, this is where the hurdle appears for most football fans. Who wants to pay the equivalent of EURO 500 plus per night for a hotel room. The popular 4 and 5 star hotels in Kyiv and Donetsk were booked out many months ago by the large tribe of 'officials' associated with the tournament. Many of these hotels are charging EURO 1,000 plus per night.
Each English fan could be looking at a total package price way above what they consider to be acceptable. Remembering that the first games for England are in Donetsk on 11 June, then Kyiv on 15 June and back to Donetsk again on 19 June. All this before the quarter finals, semi finals and final in Kyiv on 1 July. Even if a supporter only stayed for the first stage games they would need 8 nights of hotel accommodation.
This is where the majority of football supporters begin to think about staying at home and watching the games on TV, or even collectively at special events planned in English pubs and hotels.
Perhaps the easiest answer for English football fans would be to fly in and out of Ukraine for each game. Flying from London into Kyiv and then getting down to Donetsk and using the airports as 'sleeping grounds', although I doubt the Ukrainian authorities will like this idea.
Moreover, it is not just English football fans who are affected. When it comes to being tight with the euro, we know that Germans, Danes, Dutch, Portuguese, French and Swedes will also refuse to pay sky high prices in Ukraine.
Let's hope that some hotel owners/operators will see sense and start to offer rooms at 'normal' prices as seen in Western Europe. Plus I know that many people will say "Ah but hotel prices are also very high in London for the Olympics this year.". Yes, I agree they are very high but many are just double the price or treble the price, not TEN times the price as in Ukraine. Plus Euro 2012 is NOT the Olympics!
See: Daily Mail