Having reached the Europa League final on May 29th, loyal supporters of both Arsenal and Chelsea should be looking forward to seeing their teams compete in a European final, always a great occasion.

Sadly, many have already decided that the cost and logistical difficulty of reaching the designated venue, Baku, means that they cannot attend. Baku is one of the most inaccessible cities in Europe from the UK, with few direct flights from any western European destination. Fans who have been to 40+ games this season, loyal supporters by any definition, are unable to attend the climax of their club’s season, a dreadful reward for their season-long commitment.

Flight prices are exorbitant, and many supporters will have to use ingenuity and a combination of flights then taxis and trains from neighbouring countries to reach the city. Hotel prices have also, inevitably, ballooned, not helped by the fact the UEFA and sponsors have pre-booked much of the available accommodation.

For those determined to attend, allocations of under 6,000 tickets for each club seem laughable, given the stadium capacity of some 68,000. The cost and complexity, plus extended time off work, has put many loyal supporters off going but, regardless, the allocation for competing clubs should clearly be far higher.

Baku airport cannot cope with high volumes of air traffic, making it unsuitable to host a final where thousands of supporters would fly in. Rather than use this as a reason to not award the game to Baku, UEFA have stated that the ticket allocations are so small precisely because of these capacity issues!

Rather than subsidising travel as a gesture of thanks for their support, which the clubs could certainly afford, both Arsenal and Chelsea are complicit in fleecing fans with the outrageous £979 day trips both clubs are operating, through ‘official partner’ Thomas Cook.

Enough is enough. As independent supporter organisations at Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC we call for supporter dialogue with UEFA with a view to implementing the following principles for European finals in future seasons:

  • ​A cap on ticket pricing
  • An allocation of tickets to the two competing clubs that reflects the importance of those supporters to the spectacle and atmosphere
  • Consumer protection measures to at least stop the practice of repricing existing deals and cancelling pre-booked hotel rooms
  • Selection of locations for UEFA finals that have the transport and accommodation infrastructure to cope with an influx of overseas supporters
  • Flexibility over the choice of final location at least until the quarter final results are known.

23 thoughts on “Joint Statement from Arsenal Supporters Trust and Chelsea Supporters Trust on the Europa League Final in Baku”

  1. UEFA stated that they weren’t to know that it’d be between 2 London clubs implying that had they have known, they’d have had the final
    nearer or even at Wembley so, from which cities were they expecting the finalists? In the 47 finals since 1972 there have been there have been 7 finalists from outside Western Europe out of a possible 94.
    I wonder if they watch or are jealous of, the Wembley playoff finals
    where fans of two THIRD TIER teams filled the stadium with an atmosphere and attendance worthy of a wold cup final. That’s why
    the world watches English football, the atmosphere created by the opposing fans. Premiership take note that the 3,000 away fan cap should be at least 25% of the ground capacity. Anyway, they got the 6000 each allocation right or perhaps not, as I don’t think they want (or care about there being) any fans there at all.

  2. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity (both finalists English teams) to put real pressure on UEFA who, just like FIFA, prioritise financial gain above common sense and the fans’ interests. Arsenal can’t boycott Baku on their own but they could with Chelsea’s support. Where are you Chelsea? You have nowt to lose; you’re in the CL already. Stand up and be counted.

  3. Football is now being run simply and solely as a business. It sold its soul to the devil by agreeing lucrative TV contracts a long time ago He who pays the piper calls the tune. The loyal fans count for nothing. The real money is with the corporate and business partners. Yet, the clubs and TV want the atmosphere generated by the very fans they are pricing out of the game. They want our money and the atmosphere/excitement we help generate, but paradoxically they don’t want us to be part of it. And once more EUFA, as with FIFA, are proving themselves to be inherently corrupt and totally devoid of morals, ethics or scruples when it comes to dealing fairly with the fans. And it doesn’t go unnoticed that those running these all powerful organisations seem to be suddenly very wealthy people indeed. Where do they get that money from? Why, from the very game they are supposed to be protecting! Hypocrisy reigns.

  4. UEFA are a corrupt organisation. The final should never have been awarded to Baku, regardless of who is playing. I don’t think boycotting the game will make any difference to UEFA, particularly with the amount of tickets each club have been given and the fact that they’re more interested in corporates than real fans. I think both clubs should have put pressure on them to move the venue, but it’s too late now. I understand that we’ve only sold 2000 tickets (not sure if that’s still the case), proving that due to several factors, fans aren’t going, which is a shame for the players.

  5. Arsenal are not showing it at the Emirates as they are ‘Upgrading” the boxes and suites for the Mile High Club for next season!

  6. joke thats all that can be said UEFA lining there pockets and no feelings for us fans , fuck UEFA they have just killed football

  7. It shud be relocated to Wembley.
    Giant screens in both home grounds is a good Idea anyeay

  8. When we went for a champions league match last time, tickets were less than £400 each with flights and accommodation ! They’ve doubled the prices !

  9. Final irony. My annual travel insurance covers Europe only, Baku is deemed not to be in Europe.

  10. I Agee totally, but we are deluded if we think the slimy, corrupt people in the high tower give a toss about fans. Arsenal and Chelsea fans should boycott the game. Big screens at the bridge and the emirates instead

  11. Not a lot I can say has a chelsea fan I feel both sets of fans have been ripped of not just the allocation but the price of travel
    This game should be relocated to Wembley but I know and you this ain’t gonna happen I feel the owners of our clubs should step in and speak to UEFA and tell this that their fans a boycotting the game

  12. UEFA are ONLY interested in money!!!
    They do NOT give a toss about REAl supporters if ANY club! Baku (is actually an excellent place to visit – as last time) , bu UEFA MUST ditch ALL the ‘hangers on’. Real supporters will be priced out of the game – my 20 year old relies on me ad as a 65 year old to bankroll his football. If prices do NOT come down football HAS no FUTURE!!!!!!!!!
    LISTEN

  13. Nuff said really, Outrageous decision by EUFA. It’s not too late for EUFA and it’s sponsors to subsidise those attending to the tune of at least £500. Not much chance though.

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