In a week of incredible Champions League semi-final football that has had everyone talking, whether you’re a football fan or not, the greed of UEFA is letting down the supporters again.
Liverpool produced an incredible, high-tempo display to sweep aside Barcelona and overturn their 3-0 first-leg lead to win 4-0 on a night that will never be forgotten at Anfield. The next day, Tottenham headed to Amsterdam to face Ajax trailing 1-0 from the first leg. They found themselves 2-0 at half-time, 3-0 on aggregate, but produced an incredible second-half performance that culminated in them going 3-2 up on the night in the 96th minute to book their place in the final on the away goals rule.
Those incredible comebacks set up the first all English Champions League final since 2008, but once the dust has settled and fans start turning their attentions to going to Madrid for the final, many supporters will be left furious, disappointed and let down by UEFA’s ticketing policy.
The Estadio Metropolitano Stadium, home of Atletico Madrid and the venue for the final, has a capacity of 68,000. However, Liverpool and Tottenham have each been allocated just 16,613 tickets each for the game.
That means around 36,000 tickets, more than half, are being given away to sponsors, corporate partners and UEFA officials. Absolutely shocking for what could be a once in a lifetime experience for fans that travel the world to watch their club.
If any Liverpool or Tottenham fans are lucky enough to get a ticket, they face having to fork out for an incredibly expensive trip. The cheapest tickets cost £60, but this tier of pricing only accounts for 20% of the respective allocations.
The next pricing tier accounts for 54% of the respective allocated tickets and are priced at £154. There are then 21% of the 16,613 allocation available at an eye-watering £385, with 5% of the allocations up for grabs for a mere £513.
UEFA have already sold 4,000 tickets to “fans worldwide”, with the rest going to UEFA officials the local organising committee, national associations, commercial partners, broadcasters and corporate hospitality.
But UEFA are not the only one’s looking to exploit the fans; Easyjet, who run regular flights from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Madrid have come under fire for hiking their prices for the final. The ‘low cost’ flight operator is charging a one way fare from Liverpool for a shameful £750.49, with a return flight costing £237.54 – meaning Reds fans would need to spend almost £1,000 on flights before the even pay for tickets and hotels.
Easyjet’s price hikes are essentially a 683% increase on normal prices. The cost of hotels in Madrid have also soared as businesses look to cash in on football fans.
Why is it that following a successful club is simply too expensive for most football fans, the one’s that will watch their team week in week out. There were cases of clubs, namely Barcelona, increasing their costs for the visit of Manchester United, simply to cash in.
The reason UEFA do not bring in rules to stop this kind of thing is that they would not be able to do it themselves. Greed will spread when the governing body is more greedy that its followers.