Fans seeing red over Champions League prices

PA 39582019

Concerns over ticket prices are overshadowing what should be great away trips for Manchester United and Liverpool supporters, as the issue of English fans being overcharged for Champions League knockout tickets has again reared its head. 

This week, Manchester United announced that they were going to raise the price of tickets for Barcelona fans visiting Old Trafford for the Champions League quarter-final, to match the "excessive" £102 (€118) charged by the Catalan club.

The extra revenue raised from this increase will be used to reduce travelling Man United fans' tickets to a more palatable (but still eye-watering) £75.

This isn't the first time Manchester United have had to counter extortionate price hikes in Europe - the club subsidised away fans for the trip to Valencia in the group stage earlier this season, and for the last 16 tie against Sevilla last year. 

In a statement, the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said "Time and time again Manchester United’s travelling supporters have been ripped off in Europe by the greed of home clubs."

"Barcelona charging us member prices for away tickets would have not cost them much at all – certainly compared to Messi’s wages."

Just down the East Lancs Road, Liverpool fans' group Spirit of Shankly (SOS) were fearing similar treatment in their quarter-final at the hands of Porto, having previously suffered increased prices at the Estadio do Dragao.

"Last year, visiting Liverpool supporters paid €75 per seat -  €45 more than it cost the home support," SOS said. "Spirit of Shankly contacted both Liverpool FC and UEFA at the time to complain. LFC responded that they were working on this issue of prices. Nothing changed and the theme of LFC fans being ripped off continued for the remainder of the season. 

"This time Porto have ample opportunity to do the right thing. Supporters should be rewarded for their loyalty and not treated as a cash cow."

Both MUST and SOS will be working with Football Supporters Europe (FSE) on the issue.

The pan-European body for football fans, of which the FSF was a founding member, said: "We expect UEFA to change the regulations to state that ticket prices for away fans should be the same as the cheapest tickets available for home fans, including those discounted for members and season ticket holders.

"In addition to any change to the regulations, we would encourage clubs to be reasonable and find common ground when setting prices for away fans."

Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.