On the 1st of June, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino will be sworn enemies as they send out their teams to battle it out for the biggest trophy in club football, the Champions League but today they are in full agreement on one massive issue.
Both managers are royally pissed off at the almost criminal profiteering and disrespect shown to both clubs by UEFA, airlines and hotels.
The final will be held at Atletico Madrid’s 67,800-capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium, however, each club will only receive 16,613 tickets, that is less than 50% being shared by the finalists, the rest will no doubt go to sponsors and business executives.
Then there is the ridiculous cost of transportation and accommodation, which has been highlighted by the managers and both supporter clubs.
Klopp made his feelings well known, saying
“These decisions, they must be much more sensible. It just looks irresponsible,”
“A solution maybe, in the cities who get the final, maybe they have to make a price cut? I heard a room that is normally £100 is now £2,700? Just crazy!
“Madrid is unbelievably expensive but who decides Baku for a European final? Or Kiev? I don’t know what the people who decide these things have for breakfast.”
Pochettino echoed what Klopp had to say calling the prices crazy.
“We started to talk with the club today (Friday) to organise and see how it is going to work,” he said.
“Yesterday I was calling some hotels to try and book some rooms because I don’t know if my family and some people from Argentina are going to be there.
“I wanted to book and it was so difficult and the prices are so crazy. I am very surprised but it is normal that people take advantage of this type of opportunity to make benefit. It is going to be very, very difficult.”
And it was not just the managers that expressed their disgust, both supporters’ clubs issued a joint statement highlighting the massive price hikes they are being subjected to
“Our joy at reaching the final is tempered by the prices of travel, accommodation and tickets, and by the allocation of tickets,” their joint statement read.
“Prices of flights to Madrid and surrounding towns have rocketed by up to 840 per cent.
“Hotel rooms are over £1,000 a night and we are hearing stories of room bookings being cancelled and resold at vastly inflated rates.
“Ticket prices of in excess of £500 are also extortionate. And there needs to be transparency from UEFA and our clubs in how tickets are priced and allocated.
“For many fans, this final is not a one-off event. It is the culmination of a journey. It is time to stop cashing in on fan loyalty.”
UEFA have fostered this climate of price gouging, they could put steps in place to ensure that the fans are not treated this way, they could forge partnerships with hotels and travel companies to impose price restrictions across all their competitions at every stage but nope, they just let the fans get pissed on from a great height.