Fans groups call for changes after European final nightmare

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After the logistical shambles that was the Europa League final in Baku (leaving aside the shambles Arsenal were on the pitch), and the difficulties faced by fans going to Madrid for the Champions League final, supporters groups have come together to urge UEFA for greater consideration in the future.

Most Arsenal and Chelsea fans could not attend the showdown in Azerbaijan due to distance, cost, poor transport links, and other factors, while those who did faced issues with flight prices and accommodation. Similar stories of hotels and taxis etc price gouging were prevalent for both finals.

The AST, as well as Spirit of Shankly, Chelsea Supporters Trust, and Tottenham Supporters Trust – alongside the FSA (Football Supporters Association), will present their policy changes to UEFA in the hopes that fans won’t continue to be an afterthought in the decision making process.

They have suggestion the following areas for improvement:

Allocations

80% of the total number of tickets for the finals should be made available to the supporters of the two competing teams (40% each) with the remaining 20% to be for sponsors, the football family, key stakeholders and a small general sale or ballot.

Affordability

Pricing for the finals should be fair and affordable, with at least 45% of general admission tickets priced at the lowest category of 70 Euros (2019 prices). There shuld be a stretch pricing policy so there is a choice for fans.

Capacity

Only stadiums with sufficiently large capacities should be selected. This would allow more tickets to be made available for the fans of both teams as well as the football family. We propose that the ideal capacity for a Champions League final is in the region of 75,000 or greater, and for the Europa League final in the region of 55,000 or greater.

Accessibility and facilities

Any stadium considered must have the highest standards on accessibility for people with disabilities including travel access to the stadium. Any stadium considered must also have sufficient food and drink outlets and washrooms for all supporters, the ability to operate an e-ticketing system and not have been subject to a UEFA charge for treatment of fans or crowd management within the last 24 months at the time of selection.

Infrastructure

Final venues should be cities with excellent transport links, including capacity to deal with many additional charter flights and ideally good rail links to other cities and airports within reasonable travel distance. There should also be bed space capacity to deal with an extremely high number of visitors.

Equality

Host countries should apply no discrimination of any kind to any player or to supporters who wish to travel to the final. Countries staging finals should guarantee to abide by a human rights and equality policy that includes ensuring that no discrimination or restriction on entry is applied to any player or supporter.

FSA (England), Spirit of Shankly, AST, THST, CST

There was widespread anger and unhappiness at the European final situation this season, so as fans it’s important to remind the powers-that-be that we are the ones who matter.

Whether it will change anything remains to be seen, but hopefully more European fan groups will get on board, because it’s a problem that goes beyond the supports of the clubs involved this year.

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Owain
Owain

I agree with this wholeheartedly. UEFA practically robbed Miki a place in the final that he helped us get to. Supporters are the ones that matter here and they do deserve a bigger share hold of tickets.

Great blog piece and nice to see supporters speak out against UEFA and their impractical decision making as of late.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

UEFA will state that they will look at it seriously. And then totally ignore all of the perfectly reasonable suggestions as it won’t give enough opportunity for their committee members to make personal fortunes by striping up fans through selling tickets to touts.
Cynical? Moi?

Nah, just years and years of experience.

Chiza
Chiza

Please I’m hearing alot about this kid called omari Hutchinson…they say he is the next best thing to come out from our academy and could be the next Messi……i don’t know him that well…can someone tell me more about him??

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

He’s not the next Messi

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Totally and massively off topic in so many ways… Anyone remember Zoltan Gera? Always thought he was decent.

Owain
Owain

Whilst we’re off topic, Titus Bramble

Dennis Elbow
Dennis Elbow

Wasn’t he the baddie in Flash Gordan?

Owain
Owain

Pretty sure he was the anti hero in Bill and Ted

Lettra
Lettra

Haha well thats shuts that down.

Runzac
Runzac

Maybe you were thinking that it would be a shame for Hutchinson if he would be deemed to play a UEFA final in Thorshavn, in the future?
(No offense to Föroyan Gunners)

William Nilliam
William Nilliam

UEFA/FIFA are simply a bunch of crooks, unless teams start to boycott major tournaments nothing will ever happen. Unfortunately that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Hard to disagree with any of that, hard to believe it will make any difference

Richie

Europa League final is in Poland next year. I can envisage Arsenal v Manchester United.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Hopefully United will tank before they get there

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I’m still laughing reading the fantasy above! Football stopped caring about fans decades ago! Do you really think that the corrupt cunts in uefa didn’t realise that a EL final in Bacu would be a nightmare for Western European fans? When the brown envelopes were being handed over all they were concerned about was that the amounts were right. A World Cup in Qatar was the ultimate demonstration of the venality of the people who run the game.

Expect future European finals to be played in New Zealand.

David C
David C

Maybe in Canada too then I can go see it! But you’re right, it’s hard to love modern football. Look at a guy like Neymar and his pathetic behaviour. Only loyalty to all involved is money now….

Espen
Espen

When someone is trying present an constructive solution to bad decisions, the right action is to support them, not laugh at them. No matter how futile it seems.

PodB
PodB

New Zealand would be easier to get to than Baku with 23-hour direct flights … you can stay at our place Fats.

Canuck Gunner
Canuck Gunner

I’m still holding out for the European finals to be played here in Victoria Canada. We’re part of the Commonwealth, so can’t we consider that part of Europe? (or did Brexit kill that chance?).
And we’ve got a lovely 6,000 seat stadium which I’m pretty sure would sell out.