LONDON: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp branded Uefa ”irresponsible” yesterday as fans expressed their disgust over eye-watering price hikes after four Premier League clubs qualified for the Champions League and Europa League finals.
Tottenham and Liverpool will meet in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1, while supporters of London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea face a 9,000km (5,600-mile) round-trip for their Europa League final in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on May 29.
Klopp, whose side lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev last season, called on Uefa to show more consideration to travelling fans when choosing host cities for finals.
“These guys who make the decisions, I don’t know what they have for breakfast really when they do it,” said Klopp yesterday.
“Baku, I have no clue how to go there, if there is any regular flight at all? These decisions must be much more sensible, much more reasonable. It looks irresponsible, I don’t know how they do it.”
Arsenal and Chelsea fans are further outraged that the clubs have been allocated just 6,000 tickets each for the 68,700-capacity Olympic Stadium.
In March, European governing body Uefa put 37,500 tickets for the Europa League final on general sale to supporters.
“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,” said Arsenal in a statement.
There are currently no scheduled direct flights between London and Baku for the week of the final.
“Really terrible ticketing and travel arrangements for Arsenal fans for the Europa league final,” the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust said in a statement.
“AST meeting with the other supporter trusts also in European finals on Tuesday to discuss how more pressure can be brought to bear on UEFA for fairer treatment for fans.”
Arsenal estimate that return travel will cost more than £1,000 ($1,300) per person.
Liverpool and Tottenham fans in theory have a much easier trip to the Spanish capital but have seen prices for flights and hotels sky rocket since both sides produced remarkable semi-final comebacks this week to defeat Barcelona and Ajax.
“Yesterday I was calling some hotels to try and book some rooms because I don’t know if my family and some people from Argentina are going to be there,” said Spurs’ Argentine manager.