All English final: fans face difficult travel options
English football is experiencing a monumental moment in their history. Liverpool will face Tottenham in Madrid for the champions league final, whilst Arsenal will face Chelsea in the Europa league final.
The all-English final sheds light on the question: Is it necessary for fans to travel to Madrid, Spain and Baku, Azerbaijan when the finals could be played at home? This question is brought up as fans face difficult travel options to watch the all-English finals.
However, there are a lot of factors involved such as both league competitions being designated for potential finalists to play at a particular destination. The destination for the finalists are decided by UEFA Stadium Infrastructure Regulations, prior to the start of the competition. And stadiums are selected by categories depending on the maximum capacity.
With fans of all four English clubs trying to get the cheapest possible tickets, flights and hotel costs are increasing due to high demand. The 67,000 capacity at Wanda Metropolitano means Liverpool and Tottenham fans will have to spend a lot of money to get the best seats in the house – tickets would set fans back over £500.
The 68,700 capacity at Baku, Azerbaijan means that Chelsea and Arsenal fans will have to spend just as much money to witness which club qualifies for the champions league next season. As fans will have to travel more than 2,468 miles to watch the game, there are no flights scheduled between London and Baku on the week of the final.
There are alternative ways of getting to Azerbaijan. This includes public transport such as trains. But that would take more than four days as you will pass through seven countries. Another way of getting there is driving, but that would take more than 58 hours. Fans face a dilemma of not being able to see the Londoners live due to chaotic travel.
Arsenal posted on their website that UEFA will give both clubs an allocation of just 6,000 tickets each for the match. However, the limited tickets and travel puts fans in a difficult position. Arsenal are currently working with Thomas Cook to offer fans seats on an aircraft, but there is limited availability due the final being during half term week and after bank holiday.
Nevertheless, we are approaching the Europa League final on the 29th this month, and the Champions League final on the 1st of June. Fans of all clubs are quickly buying tickets, hotel rooms, and are saving up for what will be one of the most glorious weeks in English football. The premier league race is also on, who will take the trophy: Liverpool or Manchester City?
Featured image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/aerial-photography-of-stadium-2039938/