Liverpool fans are unhappy that they will be allocated just 10,236 tickets for the Europa League final against Sevilla.
The final, on 18 May, will be played at Basel’s St Jakob-Park which has a capacity of 35,000. Both finalists have been allocated 47% of the 35,000 capacity, which amounts to just over 10,000 tickets for each club. The remaining tickets will be divided between a “contractual supporter allocation” of 41%, 10% to matchday officials and players plus a final 2% to contractual partners. Liverpool currently have 27,000 season ticket holders with a waiting list of many thousands more.
Earlier in the season, supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly wrote to Uefa to express their reservations about the decision to hold a major European final in a stadium with such a small capacity.
“It is crystal clear that this amount tickets will not be enough to satisfy demand at Basel’s St Jakob Park Stadium. Tens of thousands of supporters will have attended every home game this season and a large number will miss out,” read a statement on their website.
“Given the poor choice of location of the final, even though it is easily accessible, supporters will struggle to find accommodation (most hotel rooms are booked already) and there is little in the way of transport out of the city after the match (there are no trains after midnight to the nearest city of Mulhouse, or to elsewhere in Switzerland). These would be issues that affect all supporters who could be faced with a final in Basel.
“We do, therefore, join the club in urging fans against making plans to avoid disappointment. Whilst it is not our place to tell supporters what to do, it is pretty clear that Basel is not best equipped to deal with such large numbers that we have witnessed in previous years.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that regardless of the size of the ticket allocaztion, tens of thousands of fans would travel to Basel to savour the atmosphere on the day of the final.
“We’re in the final, what shall I say? It is incredible. Amazing. We go to Basel. We take 50, 60, 70 thousand Liverpudlians with us, not in the stadium but in the city. Maybe 100 thousand,” he said.
“It’s a nice city, by the way. Close to my home. Create an atmosphere… go there and enjoy it, and we will go there and try and give our best in the middle of May for this wonderful club and these wonderful fans.”
Klopp will be hoping that invasion of Basel will be a friendly affair and not a repeat of the 2007 Champions League final, when thousands of ticketless Liverpool fans descended upon Athens and caused havoc across the city. Then, Liverpool blamed the trouble on poor ticketing arrangements, but a report by Uefa concluded that Liverpool fans were ultimately responsible.