UEFA ‘explain’ paltry ticket allocation for Europa League final

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After Arsenal qualified for the Europa League final last night, it was revealed that both we and Chelsea would only be handed an allocation of 6,000 tickets for the game in Baku which is being played at a stadium that holds 70,000 people.

It means that many loyal fans wouldn’t be able to attend the game should they overcome the difficulties/expense of travelling to Azerbaijan in the first place.

This evening, UEFA have released a statement explaining their decision. It reads:

Based on UEFA’s recent experience with UEFA Europa League finals and the UEFA Super Cup in comparable venues the number of finalists ‘ supporters requesting tickets for a UEFA Europa League final can vary greatly from club to club. Of course, it is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final while the venue has to be chosen around two years in advance.

Taking into consideration the above and most importantly the geographical location and logistical capacity of airports in and around the host city, it was deemed that around 15,000 spectators would be able to travel from abroad (this includes finalists, fans and general public), with Baku as the main hub. Offering more tickets to fans of the participating teams, without any guarantee that they would be able to arrange suitable travel to reach Baku, was therefore not a responsible option.

Based on these circumstances, for this year’s UEFA Europa League final in Baku, 6,000 tickets have been made available to each of the finalists. UEFA remains in close contact with the finalists regarding the travel arrangements of their supporters and any other operational aspects with regards to the final.

Of course it begs the question – why hold the game there in the first place if it’s so unsuitable? It also ignores the tens of thousands of tickets made available to the ‘football family’ via ballot, the majority of which presumably won’t be from Azerbaijan, and thus likely to arrive via air. Many of those tickets are likely to be sold on the black market to Arsenal or Chelsea fans at extortionate prices too.

What could have seen then make such a decision? We here at Ar$eblog New$ $imply can’t figure it out at all.

To compound it, Arsenal still have yet to receive guarantees over the safety of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, which may see the Armenian left in London for our biggest game of the season. More details on that here.

It’s a ridiculous decision, even Mugsmashers boss Jurgen Klopp was critical of it, saying, “I think going to Baku, that’s really funny for a European final.

“These guys who make the decisions I don’t know what they have for breakfast really.

“Baku I have no clue how to get there or if there is any regular flight at all. In these decisions people must be a much more sensible and reasonable.

“It is irresponsible.”

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Welshman
Welshman

Many years ago, in spite of it being the largest stadium in Wales, UEFA wouldn’t hold either final at the Millenuim Stadium due to travel concerns. Baring in mind that Cardiff has an airport, a large train service, and the stadium (for those who may not know) is in the city center…

Money talks I guess

GYWE
GYWE

Well when they put it like that… it’s still bull$hit

John G
John G

Up there with Qatar and the many many brown envelopes, corruption remains strong

Dave Roberts
Dave Roberts

You’re absolutely correct there, John.

Remember the ludicrous number of times that the IOC was bribed over selecting a location for the Games? It happens every 4 years, without fail. All that happens is that the people charged with accepting bribes wind up resigning, only to be replaced by another load of crooks with their hands out. I’m sure that UEFA’s just the same …. why else would they choose Baku in Azerbaijan, a country with a massive 10 million population, no doubt mostly goat herders who can’t afford a ticket anyway.

Mc1892
Mc1892

Shit like this is truly putting me off football. It’s not just our owners that are detached beyond belief, it’s an entirely rotten, corrupt system, fundamentally broken from top to bottom. Not a single decision is made with fans in mind. Really quite sad, there are so many flaws with this ‘explanation’ yet there’s noone to hold them to account. The clubs are in bed with them and earning a fortune so I don’t expect them to put up much of a fight.

Mostafa_Musad's Lab (Chelsea Fan)

I agree with your decisions but the fortune they are earning is eventually spent on buying new players and developing the team. Answer honestly here, would you rather stick with flops but get extra benefits as a fan or have a team full of superstars but get less benefits as a fan? The former, right? This is what I’m talking about, get it?

Note: I am not trying to send any hate or something, I’m just trying to say that starting a fight against the governing body of football in Europe wouldn’t help. Instead, it could create new challenges for the FA/club that dared to do so.

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

I have a mate who works for one of the sponsors of the champions league and they’ve just renewed their contract with uefa and have even more seats allocated for the final for the next few years… It’s not improving any time soon folks

A Different George
A Different George

Klopp, according to The Guardian, “Madrid is unbelievably expensive but who decides Baku for a European final? Or Kyiv? I don’t know what the people who decide these things have for breakfast.”

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

Watch Liverpool getting in the wrong end of VAR in the final…plus 2 red cards for Salah and Firminho for getting injured after a stud up challeng from Danny Fewkin Rose

Fuckspurs

Danny Rose is the epitome of the c-word. Has a clear racist agenda with all the shit he talks in the press. Can’t believe he’s made it to a CL final. The most average left back in history, I guess some people have all the luck. Yet he’ll go on about how “black” players don’t get enough chances in football. While the reality is that almost every elite team in Europe has several people with that ethnicity. Racist chants are plain wrong but the agenda that Rose puts out and gets recognition for is completely fraudulent and reeks of headline making.

A Different George
A Different George

I am obviously not a fan of Rose, or any Spurs, but I think most of what he has said is absolutely correct. I don’t think he has a “racist agenda” or is headline seeking. I think he is, justifiably, sick and tired of attitudes like yours.

A Different George
A Different George

Danny Rose might actually get carded if he did that. But Kane, never.

A Different George
A Different George

Of course, all of this pales in comparison to UEFA’s plans for a new-format Champion’s League that would, realistically, destroy domestic league competition throughout Europe, including England. I think money may have something to do with that as well.

Cacho
Cacho

Has there been any more news about this new format? I heard something about it going into effect around 2024? Other than that I’ve found no details

Brian
Brian

Piece in the New York Times about it. Link to same at the end of today’s F365 Media Watch column

Cacho
Cacho

Just read it, absolutely disgusting. It honestly made me depressed. How fucking insanely stupid are these greedy assholes? It sounds absolutely awful. I guess this will be in lieu of a super league? These are the worst possible plans for future of the CL. God help European football

Hank Scoprio
Hank Scoprio

Obviously some people weren’t around when it used to be the Champions Cup. Money decided it was not good having only one of the big boys from each nation in the tournament hence the Champions League comprising plenty of teams that were NOT champions.

I remember when Arsenal were good and there were only 4 decent teams in the Premier League. Rafael Benitez Liverpool used to field reserve teams in league games in the knowledge that 4th place was under no threat and with no premier league title ambitions while proper teams im Europe were trying to win things on multiple fronts. The Champions League became a farce long ago. This is just a continuation and something that has been proposed for some time. Personally I don’t care how we do in it. The only value I see in this joke of a cup competition is the financial gain and ability to lure quality players by being in it.

A Different George
A Different George

The new format would mean each club would play 14 group-stage matches, instead of the current 6. It’s inevitable that some of these matches would be on weekends, not just mid-week. It’s inevitable that broadcast rights for these matches would be increasingly valuable, to the detriment of domestic competitions

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse

Klopp is right and fair play to him for having the balls to say it. Though when he says “ I don’t know what they have for breakfast” I think we can guess what they have for breakfast… caviar starter, gold plated sausages and a suitcase full of cash on the way out the door.

Scwibble
Scwibble

Nope. They eat shit.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yeah, but they get to keep the cash wrappers the shit comes in.

Rocastle Rock
Rocastle Rock

Can’t give tickets those that deserve them most – red or blue, can’t guarantee Mkhitaryan’s safety, can’t do their job in any way shape or form whatsoever.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Their job is making money for their retirement funds. They’re doing a bloody good job, trust me.

Bob
Bob

I would fucking love it if we and Chelsea could just get together and organise it in Wembley. Completely both not show up in Baku and do it here. UEFA would just have to deal with it or they’d have no final.

They forget the most important people in football are the clubs involved! Seize the means of football my fellow football workers! 😉

Abdull
Abdull

That would be good i can travo as well join u o the way from malawi🇲🇼🇲🇼🇲🇼🇲🇼

Mc1892
Mc1892

Does make you wonder what would happen if they did, with Spurs and Pool too. I wonder whether UEFA would take on the FA? Obviously not going to happen but I know Spain have had their grievances with them too. Guess it’d be the beginning of this bullshit euro league the papers keep hyping up.

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

Is there enough time to stage a UEFA Brexit vote?

Alfygooner
Alfygooner

We should set it up at Wembley with Chelsea and sneakily send some players to Baku. When Ski dont show they’ll forfeit the match and we’ll get the cup and a CL spot next season.

It’s a good plan. Someone tell Unai.

AdebayorInGoldenArsenalOPhil
AdebayorInGoldenArsenalOPhil

Yeah. EUFA are almost europe’s FIFA. So lucky.

Bergkamp 3:16
Bergkamp 3:16

Happy 50th Birthday Dennis Bergkamp! Hope you had a great day! You’re an absolute legend; always and forever!

Cacho
Cacho

By all reports Baku is a delightful city, what a shame they’ve handled this so poorly. I will say though as a travel agent, when looking for myself at flights to Baku, there really are very few options. Mostly connections in Istanbul on Turkish Air, not much else than that. So I actually believe a little bit what they’re saying. But like Blogs said, why have it there at all then????

jon

Try Air Baltic via Riga.

GraeB
GraeB

$trange Baku managed to get the even more “financially aware” F1 organisers to have an Ajerbaijan GP when a British GP is always under threat.

Fans 0 Money $ when a country is prepared to ignore its other problems in favour of international recognition.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Well look at the dodgy places that World Cups keep getting staged at. Football is rotten on every level. Its run purely as a business for businessmen… and crooks, and its used by corrupt officials to deflect attention away from oppressive governments (and at the same time that is further lining the pockets of those businessmen and crooks).

Chrispy
Chrispy

I do love Klopp. Shame we missed out on him.

DBMÖ10
DBMÖ10

There was a grammatical error, a misplaced comma in the article above.

without any guarantee that they would be able to arrange suitable travel to reach, Baku was therefore not a responsible option.

There , I fixed it.

Grammawat?
Grammawat?

There was a grammatical error: a misplaced comma in the article above.*
😉

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

But this is the organisation that also plans home games in the qualifying rounds to be played during the rush hour so the fans cannot even get to the home matches!
Beareaucrats for you….

Footie fan
Footie fan

Don’t understand why choose venue 2 years in advance, surely be better to pick stadium which is equal distance to both fans, know that would be short notice to arrange but could be sorted from quarter finales as most times would be European venue. Presume that would mean uefa executive’s would have to do something for the money and lose out on backhanded.

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

A big brown fucking envelope, that’s why it’s taking place in Baku.

I can understand wanting to bring the final to all corners of Europe, but what other reason would you have to reward the it to a city that does not have the infrastructure to support it?

Cunts, cunts, cunts.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

To give the gloss and respectability of a big European TV event to a country that throws people in prison for daring to notice the extraordinary abuses going on around them.

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

You could also switch out “European” with “World” and Baku with Qatar. For a game that brings so many people across the world together with hope and joy, this deceitful and greedy side of the game absolutley sickens me.

jon

Even a major tourist and business destination as Madrid, has trouble handling the 32.000 visitors from Liverpool and London who will get tickets for the CL final (16.000 for each club). So the Baku decision is not hopeless. But why do they spread these tournaments around? The European finals should be played in Europe’s capital Brussels.

Mc1892
Mc1892

I think theres something exciting about it being in different venues. But it should rotate amongst the top 10 ranked leagues in Europe. You earn the right to host these tournaments. And yes, that likely means someone like Azerbaijan is never going to host one, but that’s just how the world works!

thw14
thw14

The top ranked leagues in Europe got there by starting on the stuffed envelope racket in the 1910s rather than the 2010s. So, in a way, Azerbaijan or whoever are, in fact, “earning” the right to host such tournaments, following a well-beaten path.

This is apart from my opinion that such tournament host bids are a crap way for developing economies to get ahead, and it seems clear that Baku is struggling to deal with basic logistics.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

No its struggling to deal with basic human rights, just like the rest of the country.

If any of you go to the game…. don’t complain out loud about the place while you’re there. Half the fun of going somewhere far away is actually managing to come back home again afterwards. I suspect their prisons are rather unpleasant.

JoSmoreski
JoSmoreski

Oil rich clepto-state run by sleazy oligarchs… how did UEFA officials get involved there? 🙂

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

For future reference, I think you’re supposed to pose the question BEFORE answering it.

George
George

Think again.

Phil Cowie
Phil Cowie

So they consider what respective airports can handle, but, not how many flights arrive at said airports from major hubs?!
And they have the nerve to tout that as responsible?
Couldn’t be more obvious that the only thing that matters to UEFA is brown envelopes.
Something needs to change.
About time we band together and take the power back.

GraeB
GraeB

I’m sure all the top hotels have been fuuly booked already for UEFA luminaries, all at no cost to them of course.

If AFC so concerned about travel, presumably they’ll be offering lifts on their Emirates jet for supporters? (rhetorical)

George
George

“Of course it begs the question – why hold the game there in the first place if it’s so unsuitable?”

Be fair, we all thought Besiktas and Qarabag were a chance before the season.

SLC Gooner
SLC Gooner

Typical corruption. Also looks like the game will be played at 11:00PM at night Baku time…surely that’s not ideal for the players.

GraeB
GraeB

Good point and one not really highlighted in the media yet.

Gunnerjoe
Gunnerjoe

Oil lubricants more than engines

NigelTufnel
NigelTufnel

In other words, they’re staging the event in a location so inaccessible that it’s not worth offering tickets to fans willing to deal with the dreadful travel required to attend. Wise decision.

Dom
Dom

Baku did host the inaugural European Games in June 2015 – which was a relatively large sporting event with approximately 50 nations participating.

I think it’s clear that they have the infrastructure to manage and host an international sporting event, and the associated crowds that come with it.

With that in mind, the EUFA explanation is highly questionable.

leroy
leroy

uncouth
executives
funnelling
assets

GraeB
GraeB

Some comments here to use Wembley are sensible but as STH I know just how difficult it is to get tickets for FA finals. FA still take 50% of tickets.

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

Here’s a thought: Hold the final of a European club competition in a city in, er, Europe.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Just to top it off, UEFA award to a city in a country technically at war and which may preclude one of our ‘top’ players even going to the final. You really couldn.t make it up.
Whoever suggested Arsenal and Chelsea bypass UEFA and arrange it at Wembley…most sensible suggestion possible. 40,000 tickets each and just 1 box for Ceferin and co. Fuck this football family bullshit, it.s just a way of saying free tickets for everyone on the gravy train and screw the loyal fans. Disgusting

Oscandwarf
Oscandwarf

The benefits of being in a ‘football family’ seem rather nice. Shame membership seems to be slowly excluding fans.

Soon we’ll see how inspiring a stadium full of middle managers can be… I’m not optimistic.

Jack but
Jack but

What is Baku?

canon fodder
canon fodder

I wonder what would happen if both Arsenal and Chelsea refuse to play the game in Baku unless certain terms and conditions were met. The game can’t go ahead without us. What is the worse that can happen…banned from European competition for a few years? At least UEFA will get the message that they can’t mess without without suffering a backlash!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

UEFA would fine both Clubs heavily and ban them from European competition for a few years. They might also impose transfer bans. We would be made an example of.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Our Glorious leaders might well eff-off for lack of potential profit though, which would be a lovely bonus.

Oscandwarf
Oscandwarf

I’d take that deal in a heartbeat.

Der Kaiser
Der Kaiser

UEFA are a disgrace and they deserve all the criticism. However, wonder whether there are any players ( Arsenal or Chelsea) paid £100,000 or more a week who may subsidise the costs of any loyal supporters. Some of them could even afford to charter a plane or two and pay the fares of the supporters.

Whilst we all follow it as loyal supporters it is all rather immoral dominated by money. I despair! I know some who have wathched every Arsenal match ( or nearly everyone other than due to an emergency) for 30-40 yrs who are considering not going ( andd probably can’t due to limited time and / or money). Do any in their ivory towers really know real life?! Arghhhh!!!!

Rich
Rich

Emirates sponsor our shirts, and Emirates sponsor our stadium…. There’s unconfirmed rumours that Emirates is an airline?

Why don’t we just ask our sponsors to put on some flights for us?