Wembley stewards arrested after 'attempting to flog passes to England's Euro final for £4,500'

TWO Wembley stewards have been arrested after allegedly attempting to sell passes to England’s Euro final for £4,500.

The passes were offered, along with high-vis bibs and wristbands, on a Facebook site titled UEFA Face Value Tickets Swap and Sell.

But the buyer they met was a Sun on Sunday investigator posing as a fan desperate for tickets.

And the would-be sellers were held in a sting operation after we alerted police.

The stewards could have unwittingly given access to terrorists targeting England’s biggest game since 1966.

And the scandal laid bare the appalling state of the matchday security operation which led to 2,500 yobs storming the stadium amid frightening scenes.

Meanwhile, an MP demanded action as a second Sun on Sunday investigation uncovered a 40 per cent cut in the Wembley policing bill over just two years. 

And, although stadium owner The FA is likely to have earned more than £1million for each of the seven Euros games it hosted, private stewards were paid as little as £8.90 an hour.

We were offered the passes after would-be sellers quit their posts in the stadium hours before the kick-off against Italy.

The initial advert had said: “Steward pass available x2 with uniform and pass. Anyone wants to get in I have 2 passes and 2 uniforms and wristbands for you to go in and watch the game.”

Facebook messages were then sent explaining how to assume their identities, along with pictures of a security pass on a lanyard, a white matchday wristband and the yellow bibs. Images were also posted showing a steward with a prime view at England’s semi-final win over Denmark.

Asked what to do about the picture on the pass, the would-be vendor added: “You can print a photo and stick it on.

“They don’t check like that. It’s not as secure as you think.”

They added: “As long as you got the wristband and pass you’re sorted. Everywhere in the stadium and stands. You can go to the toilet, take it off and go and sit somewhere. All you have to do is show your wristband to two people. Not even the pass. When you get in that’s it. Job done.”

The pair were held by six officers as they waited to complete the deal outside a supermarket near the stadium. They were arrested on suspicion of fraud, handcuffed and led to a police van. Our investigator has now given a statement to police

Police confirmed: “Two men were taken to a West London police station and have since been released under investigation.”

Last night, a spokesman for the FA said: “We are aware of the matter and we are supporting the police with their investigation. We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”

Just before kick-off touts were demanding up to £62,500 for a pair of tickets.

But European football chiefs reckon as many as 5,000 ticketless yobs may have got into the stadium. One, Charlie Perry, told how he bribed his way in for £250.

Videos showed innocent fans being trampled in stampedes, with England hero Harry Maguire’s dad suffering suspected broken ribs. 

Figures obtained by The Sun on Sunday show the FA paid just £203,388 for police officers inside the ground in 2018-2019, the last full season before lockdown. Yet they shelled out £337,431.78 in 2016-17, meaning the total fell by £134,043 or 40 per cent.

And last night Tory MP Julian Knight — chair of the powerful Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport select committee — urged ministers to “bang some heads together”.

 He said: “The events of last weekend could quite easily have ended in tragedy. When it comes to such events the authorities must spend whatever is required to make sure fans are safe and maintain public order.”

As few as 20 officers were inside Wembley when yobs forced their way in. Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation staff association, said: “This shambles was caused by penny-pinching on behalf of Wembley and the FA.

“They have made tens of millions from this tournament yet don’t want to pay for policing. If you think private security firms can do as good a job as the police — well, you can see how it unfolded.

“There has been an erosion of investment into policing at football going back many years, which we have warned about. We are lucky there were not deaths or a terrorist attack.”

A Wembley spokesman said: “We will carry out a full review and investigation into the events. This will be done in collaboration with the police, the Greater London Authority, the Safety Advisory Group and the tournament delivery stakeholders.”

England lost the final in a penalty shootout after Marcus Rashford, Jaden Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their spotkicks — sparking a barrage on online racism.

Supporters backing the trio painted their numbers — 17, 25 and 11 — on a wall at the site of Darlington’s Arthur Wharton Foundation, dedicated to the world’s first black professional footballer.

But racist graffiti was soon daubed over the tribute.

Thousands of fans visited a Marcus Rashford mural in Withington, Manchester, to show their support after it had been defaced.

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