The most prestigious club competition in World football finally returns to the sports’ motherland but is overshadowed by the tactics of one of the greediest official bodies. With the demand guaranteed to be huge but with the financial situation suffocating peoples hopes of clinching a ticket surely UEFA would have taken these factors into account when deciding how much they will charge for the privilege?
Think again. If you are pondering over whether to go while the tournament is on domestic soil the cheapest ticket you can get will set you back £150 – not forgetting the audacious £26 administration fee. To grab a “category one” ticket it will cost you a ridiculous £300 plus fees. The “category two” tickets are valued at £225 plus fees with a £338 deal on for an adult and a child – incomprehensible, ignorant and unforgivable.
The dailies are overflowing with sombre warnings of job losses and reductions in funding and grants; the prices of food and petrol are climbing and the standard of life is being squeezed more and more as every month passes. You would have thought that the organizers of a competition so ubiquitous would have made sure that any person from any background could afford to experience one of the most sensational nights of the football calendar.
To see the passion for the sport being exploited in such an obvious way is revolting. UEFA is basically prostituting our love of the game. Of course games must create revenue and I’m not saying that games should be free but £300 pound is more than some pay for their season tickets.
For them then to go on to warn fans to avoid ticket touts due to their “exorbitant prices” is, well, laughable. Football is a sport with such a profound reach it should be tapped into not inhibited.
How can UEFA justify these bloated prices? For someone outside of London it would cost well over £150 to see the game with travel and expenses thrown in. Take the North East for example; arguably the most passionate region in the UK as far as football goes as well as one of the hardest hit by the recession. It would most likely total over £300 to travel to the game, have a few drinks – even more if a hotel is needed. This excludes a massive number of people unnecessarily.
For an association that berates clubs for their prolific and irresponsible spending do they not see that they are juxtaposing the very rhetoric they sell with these crazy prices? UEFA needs to understand that whilst footballers may earn hundreds of thousands a week and clubs may belong to a different paradigm, a parallel universe of excess, fans do not.
Or is this deeper than simply misunderstanding the situation? Could this be UEFA’s attempt at social cleansing? They don’t want the riff raff at the most glamorous event they stage so they’ll simply price them out of it. Either way it is appalling.
To see a sport that claims to cross boundaries and embrace people no matter what religion or creed employ insular tactics such as this is disappointing. It does nothing to spread the ethos of a sport immersed in working class culture but does everything to disillusion and demean. UEFA needs to substantiate their eye-watering prices. What’s needed here is a healthy dollop of reality or some serious, rational auditing.
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