The UEFA Champions League final next week in Paris is a hot ticket – and a significantly talked about one, too. Supporters and club officials alike have raised questions of fairness in regards to the process through which tickets to the event have been distributed. The final, scheduled for May 28 at Stade de France, features English side Liverpool FC and Spanish club Real Madrid CF.
Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp spoke out in early May, questioning the ticket allocation, which will see just over than half of the tickets going to the clubs to sell to their respective supporters, with the rest sold through other channels, held back, or given to VIPs at the organization’s discretion. A week later UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin made an explanation about ticketing system, stating that “some tickets go to the market, some tickets go to the fans and some go to the partners. It’s not UEFA.” On May 12, another announcement came from UEFA, which reminded fans about its ticketing process and a warning against purchasing tickets on the secondary market related to the UEFA Europa League Final 2022, the UEFA Europa Conference League Final 2022 and the UEFA Champions League Final 2022.
The allocation, according to UEFA, works as follows: Stade de France has a capacity of 75,000, and 40,000 of the total are divided between Liverpool and Real Madrid clubs to be sold to their fans. Another 12,000 tickets are distributed via a lottery on UEFA’s website, and the remaining 23,000 tickets are reserved for UEFA, sponsors, commercial partners, broadcasters and national associations.
This is where Liverpool coach criticized the allocation, saying: “Is it right that we only get 20,000, they [Real Madrid] get 20,000, and there’s 75,000 in? That makes 35,000 left over. Where are these tickets [going]?” Jürgen Klopp then added, “You only get 50% of the tickets and the rest goes to people who pay probably thousands and thousands … that’s how all the money is made.”
“Football supporters are tired of being ripped off.”
Tickets of the Champions League cost €70, €180, €490, and €690 – each for four separate categories. Liverpool supporters union Spirit of Shankly wrote an open letter to UEFA, protesting against the allocation “given to the UEFA ‘family’ and corporate sponsors” as well as excessive prices. “In total, loyal supporters will make up just over 52 percent of the capacity crowd,” the letter read, adding, “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.”
Following the reflections of these reactions on European media, UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin explained their ticketing system and allocation while they were at the UEFA Congress in Vienna. “Fans of both teams get 20,000 tickets each. Sponsors that pay 100 or more million euros sponsorship – of which 93.5% goes to the same clubs – get some tickets.” He remarked that it was part of a contractual obligation that they had.
Ceferin defended the ticketing system further with the following statements: “UEFA doesn’t get more tickets than the others. Some tickets go to the market, some tickets go to the fans and some go to the partners. It’s not UEFA. I’m not giving tickets for free to my friends or selling to my friends. It’s the system that works, and clubs couldn’t function differently.”
He claimed that for them, not much would change if all the tickets were 10 euros, but it would change a lot for the clubs. “A lot.” He stressed.
UEFA: “Fans are strongly advised not to travel to the finals without tickets or purchase tickets on the secondary market.”
UEFA also delivered warning about unauthorised tickets for club finals on their official website on May 12.
“Any tickets which are offered for sale by third parties on the internet (including on social media, marketplaces and secondary ticketing platforms) are advertised in breach of the ticket terms and conditions,” UEFA reminded fans, “UEFA actively enforces its ticketing terms and conditions, including by monitoring the internet, and will take action (including cancelling tickets) where unauthorised advertisements are identified.”
“Whilst UEFA understands that there will be fans who have been unsuccessful in their application for tickets, fans are strongly advised not to travel to the finals without tickets or purchase tickets on the secondary market. In order to maintain the safety and security of fans, ticket holders should be aware that checks will be carried out at the finals and the local authorities in the cities will take action against the unauthorised resale of tickets.” The statement followed.
Such concern about ticketless fans’ traveling to Paris and Seville for the Champions League and Europa League finals, respectively, probably springs from last year’s chaotic atmosphere at Euro 2020 final at Wembley where around 2,000 ticketless individuals were found to have gained entry to, and a ticketless group of 6,000 were believed to be preparing to storm the stadium as legitimate ticket-holders were trying to leave.
UEFA Champions League Finals Ticket Links
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