UEFA’s decision to award less than 6,000 tickets to Arsenal and Chelsea for the Europa League Final has mostly been met with derision from the footballing world.
The spectacle, which takes place on May 29, will be held at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan – 2,500 miles and 20 hours away by plane from London.
With the cheapest flights (including a stopover in Turkey) expected to cost fans more than £1,200, the decision to allocate so few tickets is truly bewildering.
The stadium itself can hold a maximum of 69,000 fans and the Gunners have lashed out at the decision by UEFA to hand each club less than ten per cent of the capacity.
In a statement, the club said: “As many of you will be aware, we are proud to have approximately 45,000 season ticket holders and over 180,000 official members.
“It is inevitable that with an allocation of just 6,000 tickets for the final, there will be thousands of fans who have supported the club for years and been part of our Europa League journey this season, who will be unable to attend this match.
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“We recognise that any process we implement for the sales process of just 6,000 tickets for a major final will leave many fans disappointed.
“We can only ask that supporters understand the difficult situation we find ourselves in.”
However, the reason behind this is the European governing body want more locals to get involved in the game.
37,500 tickets were put on general sale in February – totalling more than 58% of the stadium’s capacity.
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But the deadline kept being pushed back as it became evident UEFA were struggling to sell tickets for the game.
The rest of the tickets are expected to go to commercial partners and to serve the corporate hospitality programme.