England vs France World Cup game will be screened at massive Manchester gigs this weekend

Artists have been praised for 'putting the fans first'.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 8th December 2022

England’s next World Cup match will take place this Saturday – but clashes with some huge gigs taking place in Manchester.

Thankfully, fans with tickets for either Blossoms or Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will now be able to watch the game in a massive setting.

Arrangements have been made to show the quarter final game at the AO Arena and at the O2 Apollo – and Paul Heaton’s even gone a step further for fans who don’t actually like football.

He’s said that the group have arranged to have some live entertainment in the arena concourse, and are hoping to serve free mulled wine to those who don’t want to watch England vs France.

Kick off is around 7pm on Saturday, leaving many fans facing missing the start of the gigs to go and watch the action in nearby pubs and bars.


So Paul announced earlier this week that they were ‘working on plans’ to show the match ahead of their arena show.

And it’s full steam ahead, with a statement confirming a new running order for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at the AO Arena.


He wrote in a statement: “Following some lengthy thought and discussion, we have decided that we will now be showing the England v France match on the screens at AO Arena Manchester on Saturday evening.

“The venue have kindly agreed to open doors from 5pm so that you can all get in on time to see the fantastic Billy Bragg who has also shown great sportsmanship by agreeing to take to the stage at the earlier time of 6:15pm. This means the match can then be shown on the screens from 7pm.

“We are mindful that there will be people that won’t be keen on watching the match (we did, unsuccessfully, look at alternative entertainment within the arena itself) and also worried about transport home, but we assure you that Paul & Jacqui will still take to the stage by 9pm, meaning the show will finish around 10:40/45pm.


“This does mean we won’t be showing any extra time if that occurs, but if it does Paul and Jacqui will be very keen to keep you updated from the stage. With the right result this could be a great night!

“Times for the evening are as follows: 5pm Doors open, 6:15pm Billy Bragg, 7pm England v France game on the Arena screens, 9pm Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott.”

Blossoms have made similar moves, and will be showing England vs France over at the O2 Apollo.

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An email circulated to ticket-holders said: “The England v France FIFA World Cup quarter final match will be shown live on the big screen prior to Blossoms’ performance at O2 Apollo Manchester on Saturday 10th December.

“Doors: 17:00. Brooke Combe: 18:10. England v France: 19:00 kick off Blossoms: 21:15*


“*In the event of extra time/penalties, times will be adjusted accordingly.”

One person tweeted Paul Heaton to say: “I’m unfortunately not going but I think what you have done is brilliant – ensuring that given the occasion people can still watch the match and watch you at the agreed time as well. As usual, you put the fans first.”

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