The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust launched a devastating attack on UEFA, accusing the governing body of ‘deliberately’ preventing fans from attending the Champions League final this weekend.
Chelsea will take on Manchester City in Porto for a limited capacity at the Estadio do Dragao, which has been confirmed to be a maximum of 16,500. Unsurprisingly, the small number has generated a lot of interest from both clubs.
However, it was revealed on Wednesday that Chelsea had returned more than 800 unsold tickets from their allotment of 5,800 – and their outraged supporter group believes UEFA’s ticket package is behind the storm.
A large number of Chelsea supporters missed tickets to the Champions League final
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust aimed at UEFA to ‘deliberately’ prevent fans from attending
The package included subsidized charter flights to Portugal for £ 200, and the battle to secure a seat for the showpiece also sprang up in a rush to pick up 2,800 tickets sold with independent tours.
But it’s the charter deal that led to the backlash, with UEFA taking the brunt of apparently demanding that any tickets not sold as part of the package be returned to them.
UEFA, which reportedly had full control over the ticket sales process, is said to have asked in a CST statement to request a return of the unsold tickets ‘even if tickets were in demand by those independently traveling supporters’.
A damning statement from CST revealed they had “no confidence” in the governing body
The Supporters ‘Trust statement read:’ The illogical provision UEFA imposes on the percentage of tickets to be sold as part of the charter package shows how unreachable UEFA executives are.
They deliberately prevented a significant number of loyal supporters from attending the UCL final, many of whom travel to Porto without a ticket.
The CST invites UEFA to publish a full explanation of why this decision was made and expects an apology to be made to Chelsea supporters who are falsely prohibited from watching Chelsea’s biggest game in nine years.
As part of the emphatic message asking for a response, the group stressed that they ‘have no confidence in UEFA as the European football board’.
Chelsea’s official website announced this week that tickets for the final were officially sold out
They have also claimed that UEFA initially wanted ’90 percent ‘of Chelsea’s total allocation to be offloaded as part of the charter package.
With a large number of supporters already booked to hit the road independently, the situation has sparked chaos and serious disruptions just two days after the big showpiece.
To make matters worse, Chelsea supporters were told they had sold out their allegations – the allegations surfacing recently only fueled their frustration.
Sportsmail had reached out to the club for comment – and it is clear that 3,000 tickets were withheld as part of the chartered package deal. This equates to about 50 percent of what they are allocated.
The emails above show that a fan was told by Chelsea’s ticket office earlier this week that they were sold out for the Champions League final, despite the club returning more than 800 tickets.
Chelsea – unlike City, who paid for their fans’ transport and Covid tests – did not offer to cover the testing costs for those attending the game. Instead, they paid only part of supporters’ travel expenses to Porto.
As reported by Sportsmail, it is believed that supporters were deterred from including the package deal for several reasons. These include ticket prices, the state of the pandemic, and the rules for staying in the city for less than 24 hours.
Supporters of the two clubs will land on Saturday and will have to adhere to a plan that will take them to the ground and then back to the airport.
There will be a strict Covid bubble for them. They must also take a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before entering the ground, as well as a negative antigen test taken two days before attending the competition.
The final will be held at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto with a capacity of 16,500 admitted participants
With Chelsea contesting their biggest game in nearly a decade, demand was extremely high
Istanbul was originally scheduled to play host, but the lockdown in Turkey and the British government adding the country to the ‘red list’ prompted UEFA to pull the final away for a second year in a row.
With Portugal named on the ‘green list’ instead, Porto was chosen to intervene.
UEFA explained in a statement on Wednesday what supporters can expect when they land.
Part of the body’s message insisted that the ‘vast majority’ of fans travel using organized charters – with this move being ‘approved by UEFA, the FPF and the Portuguese authorities’.
TICKET PRICES FOR THE FINAL
Category 1: £ 515
Category 2: £ 386.50
Category 3: £ 154.50
Category 4: £ 60
Wheelchair: £ 60
Outpatient: £ 60