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Potential Europa League Final

Earlier in the season, Spirit of Shankly, alongside supporter trusts at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) wrote to UEFA questioning the allocation of tickets for clubs that reach the Europa League final iin Basel on 18 May. We received a disappointing response. Both these letters can be viewed below. We have written back to UEFA and have yet to receive a reply.

We didn’t want to be seen tempting fate, but it is important for supporters of all clubs that we asked the question. We hope that in future years, UEFA will make changes and stage the final at a ground that allows more genuine supporters of the final clubs to attend.

 

With Liverpool’s semi-final second leg just a day away, many supporters have already started planning for a final trip, should we get there, knowing that booking early reduces costs.

 

SOS welcome clarification from the club, that finalists will receive approximately 10,000 tickets, and selling arrangements will be announced immediately after Thursday’s final whistle should we progress.

 

It is crystal clear that this amount tickets will not be enough to satisfy demand at Basel’s St Jakob Park Stadium. Tens of thousands of supporters will have attended every home game this season and a large number will miss out.

 

We know that for past European finals, as many as 30,000 fans have travelled to cities and countries less accessible than Basel. We also know from past experience, that tickets are first distributed among the club’s sponsors and partners, corporate ticket holders and players before regular match-going supporters – for the Athens final in 2007 this was approximately 7,000 tickets. We have asked the club to be transparent about the distribution of tickets and fans allocation, and they have assured us this will happen.

 

It is a fair assumption that in the event of progressing, there will be a ballot for some tickets, and some supporters will be left with a choice  – waiting to see if they are successful in getting a ticket versus the cost of travel increasing by the minute from greedy travel operators.

 

Given the poor choice of location of the final, even though it is easily accessible, supporters will struggle to find accommodation (most hotel rooms are booked already) and there is little in the way of transport out of the city after the match (there are no trains after midnight to the nearest city of Mulhouse, or to elsewhere in Switzerland). These would be issues that affect all supporters who could be faced with a final in Basel.

 

We do, therefore, join the club in urging fans against making plans to avoid disappointment. Whilst it is not our place to tell supporters what to do, it is pretty clear that Basel is not best equipped to deal with such large numbers that we have witnessed in previous years.

 

In the event of us reaching the final, we will contact the relevant authorities on behalf of supporters to address concerns.



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