Chelsea Supporters Trust criticise club over Europa League final arrangements
Chelsea Supporters Trust has criticised the club over their handling of ticket arrangements for next week’s controversial Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku.
Fans of both clubs have already slammed UEFA over its choice of the final venue, but Blues supporters believe Chelsea could have done much more to assist those wishing to try to travel to the Azerbaijani capital.
In a statement, the Chelsea Supporters Trust said: “We are extremely disappointed that Chelsea FC have been unable or unwilling to help Chelsea supporters overcome the travel, expense and logistics in order for them to support the team in a European final.”
The trust also criticised the club for failing to offer a subsidy to supporters in light of the “extortionate” costs involved, and for insisting on tickets being picked up at a specific location.
Arsenal have confirmed to Press Association Sport that they have currently sold just over half of their 6,000 allocation for the match, and the numbers are believed to be similar for Chelsea, although the club have not confirmed this.
Chelsea issued a statement later on Monday in which they said they “sympathised” with the issues faced by supporters wishing to travel to the game.
In their statement, the club said: “We sympathise with the problems our supporters face organising travel to Azerbaijan for the game, and would like to reassure fans that alongside Arsenal and our travel partners at Thomas Cook Sport, we have looked at various options to help them get to Baku.
“Unfortunately, a number of factors outside the club’s control have made organisation a complicated and challenging process.
“This includes the location of the final being 2,500 miles from London, a lack of available charter aircraft and transport infrastructure which limited the number of flights able to arrive in Baku around the final.”
Chelsea also confirmed they are not able to beam live footage of the match back to Stamford Bridge due to another event taking place at the stadium on the same day.