UEFA have gone one step further to alienating the football world and proving when it comes to managing football they just don’t have a clue.
After cowardly hiding behind their rules in refusing to ban Flamini for his horror tackle on Tuesday night in the AC versus Milan Tottenham clash, they have just announced outrageous ticket prices for their showpiece final at Wembley this summer.
Whilst the cheapest category 4 ticket will cost £80, plus a truly ridiculous £26 admin fee, general sales tickets will be available from £150, plus the admin fee.
In comparison a category 4 ticket to see England at Wembley is £30, plus a £1.50 booking fee.
Supporters groups have been queuing up to condemn UEFA’s latest farce, and Malcolm Clarke, the chairman of the Football Supporters Federation said,
“These prices are absolutely outrageous and take ticket pricing to an absurdly stratospheric new level.
“In a difficult economic climate, not only in this country but across Europe where supporters may be coming from, this represents disgraceful exploitation of fans.”
Talking about the £26 administration fee, he said, “The £26 administration fee represents the cherry on a particularly disgusting cake. There is absolutely no way of justifying such a high fee and UEFA should be ashamed of themselves.”
UEFA as ever had a spin doctor on hand to defend their outrageous prices.
Director of Competitions, Giorgio Marchetti claimed the prices were in line with comparable events such as the World Cup and European Championship finals, proving once more that UEFA care about money, and not the fans that support the game.
Marchetti said, “The prices are based on the type of event and when you compare it to other events we don’t think that the Champions League final is overpriced.
“We do not want to squeeze every single penny out of the market.
“We have to benchmark this event against other comparable events like for example the final of the Euros and the World Cup.
“Last year there was already a significant increase compared to the previous editions but it’s nothing to do with being in London and it still priced below comparable events.”
Even wheelchair entry will cost £80, with 11,000 tickets available at the £300, £225, and £150 price bands, making this the most expensive football final in history.
Both clubs who reach the final will be allocated just 25,000 tickets each, which will cost at least £80 a head, leaving UEFA to distribute the other 29,000 seats to corporate sponsors, or the highest bidder at their discretion.
In the past three years ticket prices have over doubled and Marchetti was attacked by a passionate press throng, who attacked the prices after UEFA president Michel Platini moved the final to a Saturday night to allow more children to attend. We assume Platini’s children get quite a lot of pocket money.
“That’s also why we put some tickets from children at a discounted price,” said Marchetti, though the cost of a package for one adult and one child is only available in category two and will cost £338.
“That’s a 50% discount for the child,” said Marchetti.
The £26 administration fee per two-ticket booking – or £36 outside of Europe – was justified because there were “costs involved”, he said.
He then went on the defensive when asked why tickets to the women’s Champions League final to be held at Fulham’s Craven Cottage cost just £5, saying, “That is a nasty question. I hope you don’t think the men’s final and women’s final have the same target of people. We are not making a profit, we have different targets and objectives for the women’s final.”
UEFA can expect to rake in over £14million from this year’s final, £3million more than last year in Madrid.