UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has suggested that Europe’s major football clubs should create a fund to help fans afford to attend major finals.
The most senior executive in European football was responding to widespread concerns about the cost of travel, accommodation and tickets for this year’s Champions League and Europa League finals in Madrid and Baku respectively.
Many reports suggest Liverpool and Tottenham fans were paying up to €10,000 for tickets from touts to attend Saturday’s showpiece at Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium. It is thought the majority of resold tickets were ones originally handed to sponsors, who were handed approximately half the total allocation for the 68,000-capacity stadium.
Ceferin, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, said sponsors needed to be rewarded for their financial backing for UEFA competitions, and said clubs who subsequently benefitted should perhaps divert some of the funds back to out-of-pocket fans.
“Maybe an idea would be that together with clubs, especially the big ones, we create a fund,” he said. “We give some money and whoever qualified has money for their fans to travel.
“If a sponsor pays £100m a year [to UEFA], they want to have something [tickets] for that. And this £100m goes back to the clubs. The same clubs that come to the finals because of that money. So it’s a vicious circle.”
Spectators also complained of huge hikes in air fares and hotel rooms for the weekend of the final.
Ceferin said a possible solution to that problem could be the appointment of a travel partner to ensure flights are affordable.
The final was overshadowed by stories of inflated ticket prices as well as people paying huge amounts for tickets they later found were fake or invalidated as they were found to have not been sold through official channels.
Image: Fabian Vidal