Gareth Southgate to avoid Euro 'circus' with rules for WAGs of Newcastle United, Man Utd and Arsenal stars

England stars had to isolate from families at Euro 2020 (Image: Getty Images)England stars had to isolate from families at Euro 2020 (Image: Getty Images)
England stars had to isolate from families at Euro 2020 (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
Gareth Southgate has responded to questions about avoiding the fanfare that came with the England set up of 2006 in Germany ahead of returning to the country.

England manager Gareth Southgate is set on finding his side a secluded base in Germany for next year's Euros to avoid the 'circus' of paparazzi fanfare around players and 'WAGs' that took place in the 2006 World Cup.

Next year's international tournament is the first to be held in Germany since that World Cup and, while Southgate is keen to have the Three Lions stars supported by their families, is determined to keep it a much calmer tournament.

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In 2006, Sven Goran Eriksson's England squad were based in Baden-Baden and the team's quarter-final defeat at the hands of Portugal was somewhat overshadowed by a series of front-page spreads focusing on the wives and girlfriends of stars including Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and David Beckham.

Speaking after finishing the Euro 2024 qualifying stage with a draw against North Macedonia, Southgate was asked if he would want a repeat of what happened in 2006. He said: "No. I wasn’t involved in that tournament so I don’t know how all that was but we have a great environment with our players.

"We want their families to be able to go and enjoy the tournament as well. We normally welcome them in at various times. It changes the dynamic of the hotel, especially if the kids come in, and those elements are important for the players.

"You want to be somewhere where you can zone out from everything that’s going on around you, but somewhere with good facilities. We need that nice contrast of relaxation and areas where we can work.

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"You want to minimise travel where you can but within the FA our staff are really good at picking venues that the players will enjoy and feel comfortable in."

The Daily Mail reports that while Southgate and his England team are looking for some form of serenity, the squad will be based in a big city such as Berlin or Hamburg rather than a remote getaway.

The partners of England stars were present en masse in Qatar for last winter's World Cup, staying away from players on a luxury cruise with an offshore positioning allowing guests to avoid a drink without falling foul of the Middle Eastern country's laws.

The wife of Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier, Charlotte, is one of the figures regularly present to cheer on the side. She is often seen with Everton shot-stopper Jordan Pickford's fiance Megan Davison, Manchester United star Harry Maguire's fiance Fern Hawkins and teammate Luke Shaw's girlfriend Anouska Santos, as well as Manchester City defender Kyle Walker's wife Annie Kilner.

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It'll be a much different Euros for the travelling party, who had to isolate themselves from partners and husbands three years ago for the delayed Euro 2020 competition. Harry Kane's wife Kate famously posted a selfie of the two separated by a large advertising cover after their victory against Denmark.

While Southgate is keen to allow families time together, he will be wary of what happened in 2006 with stories of Victoria Beckham's 60 pairs of sunglasses, £57,000 hour-long shopping trips, Frank Lampard's then fiancee Elen Rives coming together with German fans and Joe Cole's partner Carly Zucker becoming somewhat of a tabloid star.

Reflecting on that tournament, centre-back Rio Ferdinand said: “We became a bit of a circus. Football almost became a secondary element to the main event. People were worrying more about what people were wearing or where people were going than the England football team.

England stars had to isolate from families at Euro 2020 (Image: Getty Images)England stars had to isolate from families at Euro 2020 (Image: Getty Images)
England stars had to isolate from families at Euro 2020 (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

"I'm not going to tell the other players what you should or should not do. But I just think that, as a squad, we were a bit too open, going out in and around Baden-Baden, and probably had too much contact with families. That's just my opinion.

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"Some players may think they'd rather have that contact with their families. But you're in a tournament and you don't get to play in many tournaments in your career. To give yourself the best chance, you have to be focused. Having the families around and the paparazzi that were following us, it was all a bit too close and the football wasn't really separated from it all."

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