Supporter groups from the four finalists of the Champions League and Europa League are calling on fans across the continent to campaign for more supporter-orientated finals.
This year’s Champions League and Europa League finals, like many before them, were marred by low allocations for the competing finalists, eye-watering ticket prices and travel problems.
Now fans of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have submitted a motion to the European Football Fans Congress (EFFC) calling for a cross-European campaign.
The motion, submitted by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Spirit of Shankly (Liverpool) and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, calls on UEFA to increase allocations for fans of competing teams, with fewer tickets going directly to corporate sponsors.
All four groups are affiliated to the Football Supporters’ Association.
It also calls on fans to push for more affordable ticket prices and appropriate final venues – the latter brought about by UEFA’s decision to host the 2019 Europa League final in Baku, a host city inaccessible to large numbers of supporters in Western and Central Europe.
The fan groups said: “Under our proposals supporters of the competing finalists would receive a greater allocation of tickets, a fairer pricing model, a stadium in a sensible location with an appropriate capacity and with an infrastructure in the host city suitable for a major influx of fans.”
The motion will be voted upon by fans and supporter group representatives attending the EFFC in Lisbon from Friday 4th to Sunday 7th July.
Motion to the EFFC:
Football Supporters Europe (FSE) notes that the existing processes for staging and selecting the two European finals (Champions League and Europa league) does not give enough consideration to the supporters of the teams who have reached the Finals.
These two finals are the culmination of competitions that are played over several months. Throughout this time fans turn out to support their teams through buying tickets; travelling overseas to games; filling stadiums and creating passionate support.
It cannot be stressed enough that this supporter engagement is vital to creating the pictures and atmosphere that TV companies and sponsors relish.
The supporters of the clubs who reach the finals have sustained the competitions over the full season. These supporters deserve much better when the finals are played.
With this in mind FSE adopts the following policy proposals that it will then make representation to UEFA on for their implementation
- 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 could 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.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.