Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur fans have condemned the cost of attending this year’s Champions League final – as the costs of travel, accommodation and tickets reach record highs.
The final will be taking place at the 68,000-seater Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday 1st June. Four in every five tickets made available to Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur cost more than £150 with the most expensive an eye-watering £513.
In a joint statement issued today, Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly (SOS) and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) criticised the huge costs facing supporters.
“Our joy at reaching the final is tempered by the prices of travel, accommodation and tickets, and by the allocation of tickets,” the two organisations said.
“Prices of flights to Madrid and surrounding towns have rocketed by up to 840%. Hotel rooms are over £1,000 a night and we are hearing stories of room bookings being cancelled and resold at vastly inflated rates.”
UEFA’s pricing structure for the final came in for specific criticism – with the competing finalists receiving just over 16,000 tickets each, meaning large sections of the ground will be sold to UEFA’s commercial partners.
“Ticket prices of in excess of £500 are also extortionate,” SOS and THST say. “And there needs to be transparency from UEFA and our clubs in how tickets are priced and allocated.
“For many fans, this final is not a one-off event. It is the culmination of a journey that has seen fans spending thousands of pounds travelling to six cities in each club’s campaign, bringing the spectacle and atmosphere that is a key part of the product so prized by television.”
Ticket pricing in European club competition has been a hot topic in recent seasons, as supporters of traditionally “bigger” clubs face extortionate ticket prices for away games.
SOS and THST are calling on UEFA to deliver on a competition-wide ticket price capping, to make the Champions League and Europa League more affordable for supporters.
Additionally, they are seeking consumer protections, in travel and accommodation, to protect against price-gouging around major finals
“It is time to stop cashing in on fan loyalty,” the groups said.
Meanwhile, for the Europea League final in Baku, Arsenal and Chelsea have been allocated 6,000 tickets each. Arsenal said they were “disappointed” with such a small allocation for the final, due to take place at the 68,700-capacity Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan’s capital.
“We have been informed by UEFA that both clubs will receive an allocation of just 6,000 tickets each for the match,” Arsenal said. “We are in active discussions with UEFA for more tickets for our fans but this disappointing ticket allocation obviously presents us with extreme difficulties in how we allocate tickets to you, our loyal supporters.”
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.