It’s only a matter of days now until Real Madrid and Liverpool face off in the 2018 Champions League final. For thousands of supporters heading to Kiev in the Ukraine, just being there for the atmosphere will be enough to make the experience one to remember. There have been reports in recent days of Liverpool supporters feeding the ticket frenzy by paying upwards of 4,000 pounds for match tickets that were selling for £61 via the official outlets. A multitude of ticket re-sellers are asking upwards of £15,000 for tickets and no doubt, there will be people will and financially able to hand over such absurd amounts to be in the moment. I can understand why every man and his dog wants to be at the final too. It’s two of Europe’s elite clubs facing off in what should be a match providing more highlights than it will low-lights.
I was in the ballot for a ticket to the final but failed and was put onto a waiting list with over 14,000 other supporters. With a tick over 16,000 tickets being offered to Liverpool supporters, I wasn’t going to hold my breath. Capacity for the match at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev will be 63,000. Take out the tickets given to both Madrid and Liverpool along with an allocation towards UEFA’s own website requests and you have over 23,000 tickets available to UEFA’s “family” which includes sponsors, hospitality holders and well, let’s be honest here, clingers on and entertainment seekers who enjoy going to the big games and not much else. Rest assured there will be thousands of people in the Olympic Stadium who have probably never been to a football match before in their lives. Now, this is where it might get a bit awkward for some.
Having been a regular match goer for a long time, I’ve learnt that you kind of have to earn your stripes when it comes to European and domestic aways. It’s a closed shop for the best part however, you can find way to get a leg up eventually and build yourself a good group of friends who will always look after you when you need a tricky spare. It’s a kind of unspoken rule that you wait your turn. After the ballot was conducted, it was a little disheartening to see so many reds that I have grown to know over the years miss out. These are dedicated Liverpool supporters who are there week in and week out. Judging by social media, it seemed just about everyone missed out in the ballot which left you pondering who, if anybody, was actually successful? After all, there was said to be a one in three chance right? Either way, plenty of my mates missed out which didn’t seem right.
How do we overcome this?
My first port of call is for supporters to stop paying stupid money off touts and other supporters. the problem is never going to go away as long as supporters are will to hand over 4 grand for a match ticket to some utter cunt who paid less than a hundred for it. My personal rule when going the match is simply, no face value, no ticket. I’m always happy to pay a little extra for a pint to say thanks but i’ll never pay the stupid money people ask. I’d prefer to stay at home or go the pub with mates and enjoy the match in good company.
Secondly, UEFA could play major finals in stadiums that hold more than 50-60,000 but of course they won’t, just like they won’t stop throwing tens of thousands of tickets at clingers on and wankers in suits who have absolutely no right to be there. So back to the first port of call. I won’t even start on local hotels charging disgusting sums for rooms or the airlines who are happily gouging in the name of supply and demand. They are just cunts of the highest order. Thankfully, many locals have opened their doors to travelling supporters to help alleviate the financial burden.
I’ve seen mates offered tickets for the match on Saturday. The only problem is they are expected to fork out thousands of pounds which thankfully, none have done. So far anyway. Back in 2012, I was offered a cup final ticket by a regular and well known red for 350 quid. Face value was 50. I politely rejected his offer and eventually got in via the Cardiff end for face value. When it comes to football tickets, I try to stay on the ethical and moral high ground because I don’t want to be one of those people who feed the beast that is ticket scalping. A supporter travelling to Kiev from San Francisco paid up 2 grand for a ticket last week. The Champions League Final will be his first Liverpool match. Some will say good luck to him however, knowing plenty of regular match goers who are going to miss out, I find it a bit odd that a supporters first Liverpool match will be one of such high importance. This is where I return to my ethical and moral standards of earning your match stripes. I know many will disagree and argue that people who are willing to fork out heavy cash for match tickets deserve it but, well, you know.
This Saturday night, i’ll be happily perched on the couch watching the match with a few drinks and nibbles to guide me through what we all hope will be Liverpool’s sixth European Cup. For the many thousands travelling to Kiev, stay safe and enjoy every moment of what will no doubt be a remarkable weekend for so many reasons. For the travelling reds who got tickets via the correct avenues, have the time of your life. As for the UEFA “family”, men in suits and clingers on? I hope you lot have a fucking miserable time, get your overpriced hotel rooms broken into, lose your phones and have your flights home canceled.
Up the reds!