Supporters of Champion League finalists Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have urged sponsors of the competition to give up their tickets so that more fans can attend the final.
In a joint statement, members of the Spirit of Shankly (SOS) and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) called on eight major sponsors to return a portion of their tickets to “redress the balance”.
“As major sponsors of the Uefa Champions League, your companies appreciate the passion and dedication of the fans who follow their teams and make every game a spectacle,” the statement read.
“But many of those fans who have followed their club throughout this season will miss out on the biggest game of all. As will thousands more loyal supporters.
“SOS and THST believe such a gesture by the sponsors would help lift the occasion by increasing the number of passionate fans inside the stadium, and increase each brand’s standing on a global scale.”
The two fan groups also called on sponsors to lobby Uefa to allocate tickets for future finals more fairly, putting fans first.
The Uefa Champions League final takes places on June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.
The stadium can seat 68,000 people, but Liverpool and Spurs have been allocated only 17,000 tickets each – less than 25 per cent of the total amount per club.
In March, Uefa released a statement saying that 4,000 tickets would go on sale to international fans via the Uefa website, and the remaining 30,000 tickets would go to the local organising committee, national associations, commercial partners, Uefa staff, broadcasters and corporate hospitality.
The eight commercial partners of the Champions League are Nissan, Playstation, Gazprom, PepsiCo, Banco Santander, Mastercard, Heineken and Expedia Group.
Liverpool and Tottenham’s frustrations have been mirrored at Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, who will play in the Europa League final in in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 29 May.
Arsenal and Chelsea will share just 12,000 of the 68,700 tickets available to attend the match at Baku’s Olympic Stadium.
Uefa has said the number of tickets it allocated to the two finalists was affected by the travel difficulties facing fans from the UK.
In a club statement released yesterday, Arsenal said it was “bitterly disappointed” with the number of tickets it received, and called on Uefa to explain its criteria for choosing venues.
“Time will tell if it is even possible for 6,000 Arsenal fans to attend the match, given how extreme the travel challenges are,” the club said.
“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.
“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.”
In February, Uefa said 37,500 tickets would be sold to fans worldwide via their website, excluding those later offered to the two clubs reaching the final.
The rest, as with the Champions League final, will go to the local organising committee, national associations, Uefa staff, commercial partners and broadcasters, and corporate hospitality packages.