IF the Hong Kong Tourist Association wants a ready made campaign to boost the appeal of the territory as a magnet for visitors, all they have to do is talk to some very famous footballers. So glamorous is Hong Kong that English international footballers on the eve of the European Championship finals and at the end of a 10-month season, just had to make the trip east when the chance arose. Well, that's what we were told last week by the tour manager of the English Football Association, Brian Scott, who was answering questions from some Doubting Thomases about the wisdom in coming so far for so little. Meaningful football, that is - not money. Scott cited Arsenal's David Platt and Tony Adams as two players who put their two bits worth in when it came to deciding on where England should wind up their preparations for Euro '96. And here we were thinking that player-power had nothing to do with team decisions and that Terry Venables made them all. Of course, it is perfectly believable in the normal situation which exists at the end of an English or European season. Teams given an opportunity to play a couple of friendly games go to the most alluring locations. And Hong Kong has always been extremely high on that list. A lot higher than Sofia, Moscow or Beijing. Strangely, the Chinese capital did not rate much of a mention when it came to the English players' reactions to the Far East tour. Goalkeeper David Seamen would not have too many happy memories of Beijing which, on the rankings list for friendly matches, would have to rate as a hardship posting. Hong Kong is obviously seen as the antidote. The trouble with the normal end-of-season friendly encounters is that they are simply that - very friendly. You don't see too many players at the end of a draining European season giving their all in a meaningless Far Eastern encounter. England, naturally, is a different case - to a point. It may well be their final game before the European Championship finals begin with the game against Switzerland but nobody in his right mind is going to suggest that Venables has not already got his ideal starting line-up penned in - barring accidents. He has certainly used enough players over the past 20 months to get it sorted out and his Far Eastern jaunt - albeit they can talk about bonding and team spirit - may only present problems. Of one thing you can feel sure - those players who do take on the might of HK Golden Select XI will not be playing as if their lives and their places in the England team are at stake, because they are not. I applaud Golden for their initiative and trust that their enterprise is supported to the extent that it does not cost them money. But let us not deceive ourselves that England are going to play as if this was the start of Euro '96 - that's a fortnight later. On the theme of competitive games, those who rose in the early hours of Thursday morning - or simply stayed up until 3 am - were treated to the most compelling English Premier League match staged in years. Liverpool and Newcastle United provided the best single advertisement for all that is good in the Premier League with 90 minutes of relentless, high quality action. Roy Evans described it as kamikaze football and, from a manager's point of view, it probably was. From a spectator's angle, it was simply everything that football has always been about.