Hartlepool businessman Joe Franks' Euro 2020 Parmo pledge could cost him £20,000
A Hartlepool restaurant owner might have bitten off more than he can chew in a bid to show his support for England’s Euro 2020 campaign.
Before a ball had been kicked, Joe Franks pledged to give away 2,000 free Parmos from his venue The Open Jar in Coronation Road if England won.
And with Gareth Southgate’s men just one game from glory, Joe has been counting the cost of football coming home.
"I promised 2,000 free Parmos right back at the beginning of the tournament,” he said.
“Our Parmos are £10 so that is £20,000 worth of Parmos.”
Joe made the offer on the venue’s Facebook page, never dreaming England could make the final and he might end up with bechamel sauce on his face: "I have followed England for years and I have experienced disappointment at plenty of tournaments where they have been knocked out – in 2008 they didn’t even qualify for the Euros,” he said.
"Everyone who is a fan has had years and years of disappointment.”
He reckons most people who follow the Open Jar’s Facebook page must have shared his pessimism about England’s chances, as the initial post attracted no interest: “In the beginning, no-one commented on the post. They just thought ‘Well, England are going to get knocked out after the group stage’,” he said.
"It's really only as we have got to the quarter-finals then the semi-finals that people have thought ‘This could actually happen’."
Joe will still be rooting for the home team during tomorrow night’s Wembley final against Italy, and reckons £20,000 will be a price worth paying for an England victory: "I have never seen England win a tournament in my lifetime and I may never see it again.
"So I will definitely be cheering England on but at the same time, it probably won’t be the biggest disappointment in the world if they lose – it might even be a bit of a relief,” he admitted
If England captain Harry Kane does lift the trophy, Joe has promised to honour his offer and make the most of it: “Hopefully a lot of people who have never visited the restaurant before will come down, see what we can do and we will get some new customers out of it,” he said.