The build-up to the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea is being mired in controversy and all because of the utter incompetence of UEFA.
There is the ridiculous ticket allocation, security fears over Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the almost criminal fleecing of the fans to name just a few of the issues that the decision by UEFA to hold the final Baku has caused.
Arsenal football club is not at all happy and has expressed their disappointment with UEFA in a statement released today.
Statement in full
“Everyone at Arsenal is delighted to have reached the Uefa Europa League final and we are all very much looking forward to the match against Chelsea on Wednesday, May 29.
“However, we are bitterly disappointed by the fact that due to transport limitations Uefa can only make a maximum of 6,000 tickets available to Arsenal for a stadium with a capacity of well over 60,000. Time will tell if it is even possible for 6,000 Arsenal fans to attend the match, given how extreme the travel challenges are.
“We have 45,000 season-ticket holders and for so many fans to miss out due to Uefa selecting a final venue with such limited transport provision is quite simply not right. The reality is that whoever reached the final would not be able to meet demand from their supporters.
“We have received many complaints from our fans about this and we fully share their concerns.
“On behalf of our fans, we would like to understand the criteria by which venues are selected for finals, and also how supporter requirements are taken into account as part of this.
“Moving forward we would urge Uefa to ensure that supporter logistics and requirements are a key part of any future decisions for final venues as what has happened this season is unacceptable, and cannot be repeated. We would be happy to join any future discussions to avoid this situation happening again.”
Then there is the absolutely unforgivable situation of Henrikh Mkhitaryan possibly missing the final due to the political situation in Azerbaijan.
It is utter madness that UEFA did not see this coming but of course, money is their driving force and not player security.
In terms of injury updates, it is our opponents that have paid the cost for the stupid decision to play a friendly in the USA just a few days after the domestic season has finished and two weeks before the final, I mean, who does that?
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to miss the final due to an ankle injury suffered against New England last night.
Can you imagine what we would have said to the Arsenal management if they would have made such a boneheaded decision?
Ah well, not our problem.
That is it for updates on the Europa League final but no doubt there will be more news over the next 13 days and we will bring it to you as it comes in.