UEFA Champions League . .. ticketing prices a disgrace


THE ROMANCE of the FA Cup is alive and kicking after a weekend of pure drama – but UEFA have cynically brought football fans down to earth with a bump with their disgraceful ticket pricing for the Champions League Final.

Wembley stages the Champions League Final on May 28. But UEFA’s determination to maximise their revenue means the cheapest tickets on general sale will cost £150 plus an administration fee of £26.

Even fans of clubs involved in the final will have to pay a minimum of £80.

It is a cynical exploitation that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled “disappointing and unbelievable”.

“It’s a killer and a corporate deal, that,” said Ferguson. “Managers and players can’t do anything about it. I don’t know what you can do.”

Uefa have announced that 11,000 tickets will be available on general sale and allocation will be decided by ballot.

Prices, not including administration fees, start at £150 for category three tickets rising to £225 and £300 for the best seating in categories two and one respectively, with wheelchair entry costing £80.

Uefa’s director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti insisted: “We don’t think the Champions League final is overpriced. We do not want to squeeze every single penny out of the market. We have to benchmark this event against other comparable events, like the final of the Euros and the World Cup. It’s nothing to do with being in London and it is still priced below comparable events.”

Meanwhile, the FA Cup Final – to be staged a fortnight earlier on May 14 – will feature at least one team not competing in this year’s Champions League. Manchester United and Arsenal were drawn to meet in the quarter-finals – if the Gunners can get past League One side Leyton Orient.

On an absorbing weekend of drama what a treat to see Jonathan Tehoue’s stunning 89th minute equaliser earn the Os an unlikely FA Cup fifth round replay at the Emirates.

Just four days after Arsenal’s stunning comeback beat Barcelona in the Champions League, Leyton Orient reminded us why the FA Cup is still the world’s best domestic knockout competition.