Sir Kenny Dalglish has criticised UEFA for the disturbing scenes at this season’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
The Scotsman was in attendance at the game and labelled ‘the whole thing’ as ‘an absolute shambles’ as Reds supporters were targeted with tear gas by the French police, mugged by locals and denied entry despite having valid match tickets.
The 71-year-old also discussed Rangers’ recent Europa League final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt which saw spectators have pre-agreed items confiscated outside the ground and no bottles of water available to purchase despite the sweltering conditions.
When discussing the two games, Dalglish claimed ‘UEFA have got it badly wrong in their two showpiece games’.
“The scenes at last Saturday’s Champions League Final were totally unacceptable,” our former No. 7 told the Daily Post (via Rangers Review):
“What the Liverpool supporters had to go through was appalling.
“I was at the Stade de France, and the whole thing was an absolute shambles.
“I thought the fans showed great restraint and patience as they tried to get into the stadium to see the game, only to be faced by tear gas, pepper spray and what appeared local youths intent on causing mayhem.
“UEFA initially went into defensive mode, but have since offered an apology.
“They stated ‘No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again’. Absolutely correct.
“The fans caught up in the chaos deserved an apology and an explanation from UEFA.
“They could not be seen to undermine the supporters, and attempt to sweep what went on under the carpet.
“On the back of Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt complaining about incidents around their Europa League Final in Seville, UEFA have got it badly wrong in their two showpiece games.”
The former Liverpool boss insisted that UEFA ‘need to take a good look at themselves’ and explained that he was looking forward to hearing the results of the governing body’s investigation into the events.
The ex-Red suggested ‘a good starting point’ would be to increase the number of tickets available to fans after Liverpool received just under 20,000 tickets for a game that was played in a 80,000 seater stadium.
“I look forward to a detailed account of their findings. Internally, they need to take a good look at themselves.
“Moving forward, a good starting point should be to give clubs competing in the Finals more of a ticket allocation. Getting 20 per cent of the tickets available is just not on.
“It deprives loyal fans of seeing their team and, instead, too many tickets are given to random people.”
We couldn’t have put it much better ourselves.
There are a number of things that UEFA seriously need to improve and it’s great to see a hugely significant figure speak out and demanding that something is done.
UEFA have provided an official apology to supporters that witnessed or experienced ‘the frightening and distressing scenes’ at the Stade de France and have ‘commissioned an Independent Review to identify shortcomings and responsibilities of all entities involved in the organisation of the final’.
We’re not yet sure what all of that means, don’t hold your breath that much will change though, we’ll just have to wait and see.