England fans believe the paying public heading to Wembley for the friendly against Ghana on Tuesday night are being wronged by Fabio Capello, according to prominent figures within the support.
After beating Wales on Saturday with his strongest available side, the England manager has signalled his intention to make wholesale changes to the team. On Monday Capello said that he will change at least six players who started the Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff.
However the low turnout of England supporters for a match that has sold out only thanks to the attendance of tens of thousands of Ghana supporters demonstrates that many are sufficiently disillusioned not to even go to the game.
Kevin Miles, the director of international affairs for the Football Supporters' Federation, felt that although a hardcore of England fans will welcome the opportunity to see players tested at full international level, there are others who are disappointed by Capello's intentions for the match. Miles said: "There's undoubtedly a feeling among some that they have been short-changed. They either consider the game unnecessary or a bit of an insult to the Ghanaians just to be putting out the reserves."
There appears to be widespread sympathy for the paying fans of the African nation since Capello made his plan public only after Wembley had sold out. Mark Perryman of the Englandfans group echoed Miles's empathy for the Ghanaians "I feel sorry for the 20,000 or 30,000 Ghana fans that they won't get to see John Terry or Wayne Rooney," he said. "The match is going to be a sell-out because of the Ghana contingent: without them it would have been an incredibly low turnout. If the stadium is half empty it would be no good for the FA."
The Football Association said it had received fewer than 10 complaints over Capello's plans for rotation. It added that there had been significant reductions in the ticket price from the £65 that fans will be charged for the most expensive seats in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June to £50 tonight. Perryman countered that tickets for last November's friendly against France had been made available as cheaply as £15.
There is one positive element about Capello's carousel: against France the experimental line-up gave a full-international debut to Andy Carroll.