So here we go,it’s cup final time again & as a Chelsea fan I am pleased to say we have had our fair share of days out come judgement day on many occasions over the last decade. At the time of writing this there are only 5 days to go until what is potentially the best day in the history of my football club. The Champions League final in Munich should be the highlight of every Chelsea & Bayern Munich fans journey in football,but because of a number of factors many,many fans of both clubs are going to miss out.
Where do we start? From the very top,UEFA & their crazy ticketing policy. A stadium which holds almost 70,000 fans is going to be half full of people who have no interest whatsoever in Chelsea or Bayern Munich,in fact,some will have no interest in football whatsoever but will be happy to go along for the “jolly”. 17,500 tickets for each club,yet approx 35,000 for sponsors,& the UEFA “family”. And why is it that I can visit the Allianz Arena for a Bayern home match & pay as little as €15 yet my ticket for the final is costing me €160?
Next we have the sponsors,fair enough,they put their money into backing the tournament & deserve a bit in return but is it really fair when we see the likes of Mastercard UK tweeting to the world on twitter that a couple of Nottingham Forest fans have won tickets from them? Why not open it up for fans of other clubs to nominate a fan of a club in the final for a ticket? Maybe a fan who has missed out & mates feel he or she deserves a ticket because of the amount of money he or she spends on his club over the years?
Some of the people who have been fortunate enough to win or somehow land tickets to these big occasions end up putting them on ebay or wherever & try to fleece ordinary working class fans who have no other way of getting hold a a match ticket. It’s depressing & quite frankly it sickens me.
Next up we have the clubs themselves,Bayern are alleged to be using a ballot system & does not it seems use loyalty whereas my own club Chelsea it is rumoured are refusing to issue a breakdown of how many tickets went where & to whom. It saddens me that people I know personally are considered a tout by my club if they are seen taking “face value” cash for a spare ticket outside the ground & run a very high risk of being banned & losing their season tickets yet,the partners of the club (viagogo) whom the club want us to advertise our spare tickets with at face value were at one point advertising tickets to the final for over $3,000. How can that be not only fair but right in the eyes of Chelsea Football Club? Why will they not come out & condemn viagogo? Do they only care about viagogo using the Chelsea name & fuck the fans?
What about Thomas Cook sport, or should I say Thomas Crook? What Chelsea are thinking pairing themselves up with this lot I’ll never know.This is the company who were selling packages to Munich before anyone even knew how many loyalty points were required in order to claim a ticket,the company who if three mates booked up with & one of your mates didnt “qualify” then all three bookings were cancelled I’m led to believe? The company who have a hold on Chelsea to such an extent it is rumoured they have people on their packages travelling to Munich who have less loyalty points than season ticket holders who “never qualified”. That can’t be right,what is it about Thomas Crook which puts their packages ahead of ordinary fans? Chelsea are also telling fans without match tickets not to travel,yet they are happy for Thomas Cook to sell flight only packages to fans? Total hypocrisy from Mr Buck,Mr Gourlay & co down The Bridge in my opinion.
Airlines,the good old airlines.The likes of Ryanair & their bent,corrupt,money-grabbing abuse of the ordinary football fan.No matter our club,we’ve all felt the wrath of the Ryanair & co sting when our clubs are paired with european clubs in tournaments.I’m aiming this at Ryanair because that’s who I’m flying with but all airlines are just as bad. My own flight to Munich was as low as £30 from Edinburgh to Munich return before we travelled to the semi-final in Barcelona,it’s currently sitting at approx £200 plus fees,god knows what price it is from London airports.How can these airlines justify this? Ryanair could also help Chelsea fans rather than try to sucker them again by asking the club to publish on it’s website how Ryanair’s own site is closing down for maintenance from Friday till Sunday.Surely they are not trying to fleece another £60 each way for passengers flying on Saturday morning who try to check in on Friday only to discover the website is down? That’s what it’ll cost fans who don’t produce their online check-in paperwork at the gate.
Hotels,well the ones left which UEFA have not block booked at the start of the season.They also like to rob us football fans,how can they justify my triple room in Munich(which I booked before the Barcelona away match) costing me approx £580 for three nights jumping to an astronomical rate. The week after that match in Barcelona my hotel had no triple rooms left but were asking €2500 for a double room for the same three nights. I also know of a long term Chelsea fan who booked his hotel in Munich at the start of the season(with confirmation)who received an email a few weeks back to say the room was now “unavailable”,where the fuck do these hotels get off? Only football fans get treated like this.
So,I think the very least us fans deserve is an honest answer from UEFA,Chelsea FC,airlines,hotels,sponsors,ebay,viagogo to name but a few as to why they continue to abuse football fans pockets who after all “only”want to watch their team in a match which was after all moved to a Saturday in order to make it more “family friendly”.
I’ll be there in Munich,fortunate enough to be in the stadium & hopefully witness my team triumph,sadly many thousands,if not hundreds of thousands more will not have that priveledge. I wish I could change that stat,I really do,but only all of the aforementioned can change those stats. Too late now,so if they can’t change the stats then at the very least they can give us answers,