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My polish mammy could stop play

Safe in the knowledge that Ireland will be travelling somewhere east next summer to play in Euro 2012, many of us are wondering: a) how to remortgage a home €250,000 in negative equity to raise funds; b) how to pronounce the names of the places we will go to if we raise the funds; c) how much spending money is needed, ie how much is the local beer and do the lap dancers expect tips; d) what the best approach is to tell the lady of the home the holidays are off next summer -- for her at least.

Gambling on the draw (which takes place on December 2) landing us in the nation we adopted when the good times rolled, but which took over €5bn from our economy -- Poland -- you can expect to hand over another €3,000 just for the hotel/flight/ticket package.

Poland ain't as cheap as it used to be either. I should know, I'm married to a Polish woman and am a regular visitor to those shores. A conservative estimate for pocket money for the first round would be half that again; provided you stick to local brew and don't tip the lap dancers.

We won't contemplate getting Ukraine in the draw: it's too flat and won't suit our 'up and over style' of play; its population is composed of 'Ukrainian beauties free for dating', and who wants dates when you can get it all over with a lap dance for the price of a pint at home. And the language employs the Cyrillic alphabet, which means many will be lost in the wilderness, never to return. Besides, the Poles owe us and can give us jobs finishing their stadia before kick-off.


Negative equity or not, I'm going to Poland. But I'm faced with a curious conundrum in that I can cut my accommodation expenses altogether if I stay with my Polish mother-in-law. But going it alone would mean a full report wired back by the mammy-in-law on the hour every hour to my wife -- in code.

Taking my wife with me (but not to the games and after-parties, obviously) would at least cut back on lap dancer expenses because I have learned -- to my cost -- that she has a nose for a lap dancer as keen as the bloodhound does for a fugitive.

And I will have the advantage of stocking up on vodka in the mother-in-law's pad rather than face the overpriced toytown bottles in the hotels for that early morning night cap. It will just mean the nights will be that bit shorter. Much shorter.

Other Euro 2012 expenses such as grub, prayer leaflets, roaming charges and stain removal will all be taken care of, if I stay with the mammy-in-law. What she won't have will be green face paint, a bodhran, a cure for depression for the trip home and space for the rest of the boys.

Actually, the more I think of it, Ukraine is looking the better option. Has anyone ever seen The Charge of the Light Brigade?