Thousands Of Empty Seats In Baku For All English Europa League Final

UEFA managed to make the all-English Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal feel like an end-o-of-season International Champions Cup friendly game, with thousands of empty seats in Baku.

Despite the game being played in a 68,700 capacity stadium, just 6,000 tickets were each allocated to Chelsea and Arsenal supporters - basically the amount you get in an FA Cup or League Cup away end.

With Baku one of the most inaccessible cities in Europe from the UK, both clubs ended up sending a decent portion of those tickets back, with sponsors and partners also doing the same.

And as a result, it's led to thousands of empty seats at the Olympic Stadium. The main BT Sport camera angle of choice did a decent job of hiding them but it was very easy to spot the empties.

But it must be stressed that the blame here does not lie with the Arsenal or Chelsea fans. It's completely understandable that so many have given it a miss and we salute those who have made the lengthy trip.

The issue is with UEFA's stupid choice of venue and location in a decision they made two years ago - and the fact the ticket allocation was so low because it "wasn't responsible" to have more.

When you factor in Henrikh Mkhitaryan's absence purely because of his nationality and his safety not being guaranteed, one can only conclude that UEFA have let the fans down big time.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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