Chelsea Supporters' Trust denounce Uefa ticket allocation for Europa League final

The fan group has called on the club to make representation to Uefa, arguing that the decision will help ticket touts and create a matchday atmosphere lacking in support
The Chelsea Supporters' Trust has denounced Uefa's decision to allocate just 9,800 seats to fans of the English side for the Europa League final.

The interim chair of the club's supporters' trust told on Friday that the decision "beggars belief", with opponents Benfica afforded the same reduced amount despite the Amsterdam ArenA boasting a capacity of over 52,000.

This leaves over 30,000 seats to be distributed among the 'Uefa family', commercial partners and neutral supporters.

The statement read: "The Chelsea Supporters Trust is dismayed at the news that the allocation of tickets for Chelsea Supporters at the Europa Cup Final on May 15 is a mere 9,800.

"This represents approximately 18 per cent of the stadium capacity with a further 9,800 allocated to Benfica supporters, out of a total capacity of 52,300 with the remaining 32,700 taken up by 'neutral' fans and the 'Uefa family'.

"That means significantly less than half of Chelsea season ticket holders are likely to get a match ticket through Chelsea, leaving tens of thousands of frustrated supporters.  Match tickets are priced from €45 [£38] to €135 [£113] , though it is fair to bet that there will be few €45 tickets available to supporters of Chelsea or Benfica.

"We understand that the unfair allocation of tickets is outside of Chelsea's control, but we would urge Chelsea to make the most strident representation to Uefa about this issue, as it appears to occur time and time again in spite of Uefa's assertion that they will 'review' the situation."

The Trust fears that the large amount of supporters expected to make the trip over without a ticket will result in a number using illegal touts outside the stadium.

"As many as 30,000 Chelsea supporters could make the trip to Amsterdam regardless of whether they have tickets, and we fear many will feel compelled to deal with ticket touts, while the atmosphere will be negatively affected due to a heavy contingent Uefa officials.

"This means that cash strapped supporters who have already paid significant amounts of money this season following the team from Newcastle to Japan may well end up paying hundreds if not thousands of pounds for a ticket.

"These occasions seem to be seen not as occasions for the normal supporter, but a celebration for the higher echelons of football and the wealthy, some of whom will sell their tickets on to people who actually want to go to the game, just to make a quick profit.

"Furthermore, the large corporate and neutral presence in Amsterdam will take the edge off the atmosphere of what will be Chelsea's second European final in as many years.

"This surely runs counter to what Uefa, the Clubs and the TV companies would want? It also provides further evidence of the raw deal that supporters of all clubs who follow their team both home and away endure and who, as a consequence, seem to be the least important element in the game."