UEFA response to Arsenal letter is an absolute joke

FIFA used to be the biggest laughing stock in football and may well still hold that title but UEFA is doing everything in their power to overtake football’s supreme authority for incompetence and stupidity.

There is absolutely no justification for holding the Europa League final in Baku, regardless of what teams where competing in the final simply because the infrastructure is nowhere sufficient for a major final.

There are also many other factors, political tensions, corruption, human rights abuses and much more but purely from a logistical point of view holding a major final in a city that cannot handle a significant influx of fans is beyond stupidity, it is gross negligence and simply taking the piss out of the fans.

Earlier this week Arsenal football club sent a letter to UEFA outlining their concerns and disappointment.

This is the statement in full from Arsenal

“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.”

That is a well thought out considered statement reflecting, in diplomatic terms, how thoroughly pissed off we are.

Now, this is the response from UEFA.

We acknowledge your letter of 15 May.

I would like to give you a bit of depth with this reply. Knowing your long experience in football and UEFA competitions, I am sure you can fully appreciate that the organisation of a final is a complex and lengthy operation. UEFA has committed to appoint hosts only via a fair and transparent bidding process, where the candidates have to provide evidence of their ability to stage the event on the basis of a number of criteria that are crucial to its successful delivery.

The bidding process for a club competition final is generally held a couple of years in advance, meaning that the exact circumstances in which the final will have to be organised cannot be known at the time of the appointment.

Mobility and accommodation are obviously key criteria falling under evaluation, with airport capacity being an important element. The specificity of the UEFA Europa League final, when compared to the UEFA Champions League final, is the high volatility in the number of fans following the two finalist teams. Experience from all previous finals tells us that the numbers may be very inconsistent from team to team and from final to final and that it is therefore not advisable to establish the tickets quota of the two finalist teams as a proportion of capacity rather than on statistically based realistic figures. It would of course be ideal to postpone the entire ticketing process (including tickets for neutral public) until such moment when teams are known or closely predictable. Of course this is not possible due to the complexity of all ticketing operations and the need to draw up thorough and robust security plans.

It goes without saying that an all-English final played by two London teams was not a very predictable event at the time of the appointment. There is little doubt that this has added significant difficulties to the event logistics. We are really sorry for the problems that your (and Chelsea’s) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku. Our experts are keenly working on this matter with a view to help find cheaper solutions for travelling fans. We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.

For UEFA fans are a priority. Football is for fans and all of them around Europe should have the chance to enjoy unique moments of top football such as only UEFA competitions can offer. Those matches are usually reserved to a limited number of countries whose clubs are particularly competitive but, when appropriate infrastructure exists and is built also in this perspective, it is fair and due not only to give also other fans the possibility of a unique live experience, but also to stage events which can greatly boost the promotion of football in an entire region. That’s why UEFA would consider utterly unfair to exclude certain venues just based on their decentralised geographical position.

I trust your understanding as men of sport and representatives of a club with a long and glorious tradition and solid sporting principles. I confirm our availability to work with you in order to find helpful solutions for your fans.

WOW, what an appalling response it is full of holes written in pure bullshit.

Let’s take just a couple of their points as an example

“I am sure you can fully appreciate that the organisation of a final is a complex and lengthy operation. UEFA has committed to appoint hosts only via a fair and transparent bidding process, where the candidates have to provide evidence of their ability to stage the event on the basis of a number of criteria that are crucial to its successful delivery.”

Really? What evidence? It failed the criteria on transport infrastructure, it cannot handle a huge influx of fans FFS. They knew this, they absolutely knew that Baku could not handle so many fans, why do you think there is such a low allocation of tickets?

Then there is this beauty from those idiots at UEFA

“We are really sorry for the problems that your (and Chelsea’s) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku. Our experts are keenly working on this matter with a view to help find cheaper solutions for travelling fans. We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.”

How? even if you made the entire trip free without a new airport where the hell are you going to be able to find the space to allow hundreds of new flights that would be required, the capacity is simply non existent and UEFA knew this well in advance, to now claim they are looking at cheaper solutions 12 days before the final is taking the royal piss.

Now, remember that UEFA said they could not foresee who the finalists would be and that the Europa League finalists can be volatile in its make up of fans attending etc.

“The specificity of the UEFA Europa League final, when compared to the UEFA Champions League final, is the high volatility in the number of fans following the two finalist teams. Experience from all previous finals tells us that the numbers may be very inconsistent from team to team and from final to final”

But then they say the finals are usually reserved to a limited number of countries, in better words, Spain, Italy, Germany, and England.

“For UEFA fans are a priority. Football is for fans and all of them around Europe should have the chance to enjoy unique moments of top football such as only UEFA competitions can offer. Those matches are usually reserved to a limited number of countries whose clubs are particularly competitive”

What a load of crap, they knew which countries where likely to be in the final, they knew that Baku airport cannot handle a huge number of fans and they knew that it would cost a fortune to travel to a country that is closer to China and India than it is to Germany, Spain, Italy and England.

There is so much more of their appalling statement that can be ripped to pieces but they are not listening, never have and never will.

Updated: May 17, 2019 — 12:47 pm

9 Comments

  1. it’s unbelievable excuses and so unacceptable

  2. Only twelve days left, so just suck it and train smartly to surprise Chelsea in the first ten minutes

    If possible, Arsenal need to arrange a warm-up match before May 29th. They have to make everybody sharper, especially Ozil, if they plan to start him in 3-4-1-2 formation

    1. A warm-up match worked well for Chelsea didn’t it? Oh dear, poor RL-Cheek

      1. Yeah let’s play a useless friendly match to line up kroenke pockets and watch as aubameyang and lacazette blow their ACL given our usual arsenal luck.

  3. No mention in UEFA’s statement that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will almost certainly not be able to travel to Baku because his safety cannot be guaranteed.

    Worth remembering that just over a year before Baku was given the final 30 soldiers died in clashes around Nagorno-Karabakh.

  4. UEFA are ridiculous, really!

  5. Not mentioned in the reply is that Azerbaijan is a police state and any criticism of the One Party State and you will end up in prison. Azerbaijan does not permit back into the country any news out let that has been critical of it.

    In the list of countries with the least corruption Azerbaijan comes in at 166. There are only a few countries more corrupt than Azerbaijan.
    These fact don’t bother the UEFA as long as Azerbaijan pays up, what’s the problem?

  6. As you say rather well, though do not use these exact words, so I will; liars lie! Lying is what they do and do it so often that they even seem to begin to believe their own lies. They are of course insulting our intelligence , thus adding insult to injury. They need to be forced out of existence and this is the action we should all take to force then to leave football admin entirely. We should resign en bloc from their jurisdiction and begin again with proven honest admins in a totally new body running European football. Will it happen though? Of course not, as there are far too many snouts in the stinking trough, many of them corrupt too in varying degrees. Total honesty left top level football many decades ago. Sigh! So are Arsenal FC honest either? Of course not! Not at ownership level anyway!

  7. The truth is, it’s all about money. Azerbaijan is now a rich oil laden country since shaking off the shackles of the Soviet Union and has paid/bribed EUFA to get this final just like they did to get Formula One racing to their country.



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