Whatever be the outcome, the 2018-19 season will go down as arguably one of the best in Premier League history. It will be a clean sweep for English clubs in Europe as both the Champions League and the Europa League will return to England.
It took a herculean effort from Liverpool to overturn a 3-0 deficit to knock Barcelona out in the semi-final. The Reds won 4-0 at Anfield to cement their place in the Champions League final for the second season in a row. In the other semi-final, Tottenham Hotspur produced a fairy-tale thriller to book a place in the final with the last kick of the game. The level of competition was that high. What matters is, we have two Premier League clubs in the final. Yohooooo.
If that was not enough for the Euphoria to overflow, on Thursday Arsenal and Chelsea booked their place in the Europa League final to make it a carnival for the English fans in Europe. Seriously – ‘ain’t nothing but this carnival of dominance’.
But, there is a crisis. For the Champions League final which will be held on June 1st at the 68,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, both Liverpool and Spurs each have been allocated 16,613 tickets.
Liverpool have announced pricing details for their fans with the cheapest tickets costing £60, but only accounting for 20% of the Reds’ allocation. In addition, 54% of tickets are priced at £154, 21% at £385 and 5% at £513.
Uefa has already sold 4,000 tickets to “fans worldwide”. The rest will go to the local organising committee, Uefa and national associations, commercial partners, broadcasters and corporate hospitality.
In addition to the 16,613 tickets, Liverpool have been given 100 adult/junior combined tickets priced at £120 per pair, but there will be no other concessionary tickets available.
* Ticket stats are shamelessly copy-pasted from BBC Sport. Read here.
Okay. At least fans will take up 50% of the seats. It is certainly not ideal, but it is still acceptable.
But surely justice has not been meted to either Chelsea or Arsenal who will be allocated just 6,000 tickets for the Europa League final at the 68,700 Olympic Stadium in Baku.
No wonder why the Gunners have come up with an emotional statement (surely, football is nothing without the fans) condemning the allocation as “disappointing”.
The London club said tickets will be priced between £26 and £121. The majority of tickets will cost £43.
Theories of environmental impact keep coming up, but both sets of fans surely deserve better than this. With some tickets already reportedly available on third-party websites for £5,500, supporters group have every right to call for “a fundamental overhaul” of Uefa’s “disgraceful” treatment of fans.
This measly allocation from UEFA reeks of lack of transparency in how tickets are priced and allocated. They must take into account that a final is not just a one-off event – it means much much more to the fans, a culmination of a season-long journey for those who have spent a ridiculous amount of money already in supporting their beloved team throughout the year.