Liverpool fans have written an open letter to UEFA urging the governing body to rethink the ticketing allocation for the Reds’ impending Champions League final clash with Real Madrid.
The showcase fixture is set to take place at the 80,000 seater Stade de France stadium in Paris on May 28 but travelling Kopites have been given an allocation of just under 20,000.
Spirit of Shankly, a popular supporters group belonging to the Anfield outfit, have addressed the letter to UEFA’s president Aleksander Ceferin and explained that they’re ‘tired of being ripped off’ and claimed ‘it’s time UEFA recognised the power of fans’.
The open letter reads (via the Liverpool Echo): “Liverpool FC have reached the Champions League final. Again. In Paris, against Real Madrid. Again. For our fans, it’s another European final jaunt, the climax of the season, the hope of winning again.
“For some fans anyway. For thousands there will be no trip to Paris because there will be a shortage of tickets. Again.
“Stade de France, the venue for the final, holds 75,000. LFC and Madrid, each receive shy of 20,000. In total, loyal supporters will make up just over 52 percent of the capacity crowd.
“A free-for-all public ballot accounts for 12,000 (16 percent), and the remainder of the allocation will be given to the UEFA ‘family’ and mostly corporate sponsors.
“Unfortunately, for some of those lucky enough to get a ticket, the cost will be prohibitive. There are four price categories, ranging from €70 to €690, The majority of tickets are in category 3 and cost €180 each. There are no concessions for over-65s or under-16s. Previously child-adult packages have been available, but no more.
“Since 2018 when LFC last played RM in the final, UEFA’s ticket revenue has gone from €3.06m to €4.22m, which equates to a 38 percent increase in four years.
“Football, as a spectacle, is beamed across the globe, the faith, joy and despair of fans watching in the stadiums sold and packaged as theatre, as compelling as the drama on the pitch. UEFA depend on this, they know football without fans is nothing.
“In standing up to the failed Super League, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: “I can’t understand how you can see your fans protesting and you don’t care. You are full of money anyway, you’re not poor, but you want more and more and more”.
“Well Mr Ceferin, Liverpool fans are protesting and you don’t seem to care. UEFA are not poor, but you seem to want more. And more.
“Similarly, UEFA’s proposed changes to their club competitions in the future ignore the interests of the fans. Football supporters are tired of being ripped off. Tired of watching their team reach a final, but unable to find a ticket to attend. And tired of exorbitant prices.
“It’s time UEFA recognised the power of fans and the importance of fans above sponsorships.”
It’s sad to think that only half of the ground will be filled with loyal supporters.
It’s pure greed from the governing body and it’d be great to see UEFA take into account all of the points made by SOS and make changes.
Can we see anything being done? If we’re honest, no.
Liverpool fans will still travel in their thousands and arrive in the French capital at the end of the month, but something seriously needs to be done because the importance of fans is very quickly being forgotten about.
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I think the letter is being sent to the wrong place, because UEFA will simply ignore this.
Better approach is to write directly to each sponsor and ask them why they are denying real fans tickets by accepting corporate ones? The response from each should then dictate whether as a collective, fans need to take action against each organisation. This, I suspect, is more likely to get results. Can you imagine, placards and banners encouraging people to drink anything other than Heineken or to never ever use Expedia book your hol’s. Would also be quite funny to see the suits at UEFA then having to run around justifying their approach to ticket allocation. They would be doing it not for our benefit, but because of the kicking they will have had from those getting bad publicity.