Football

John Aldridge On Warpath Over Final Venue But Jurgen Klopp Has A Cheerful Solution

John Aldridge On Warpath Over Final Venue But Jurgen Klopp Has A Cheerful Solution

Aldo did his nut last night when he remembered that Basel's dinky little 35,000 seater ground is the venue for this year's Europa League Final.

If UEFA want to promote the Europa League as a big competition that top teams want to win, why would they agree to play the final at a piddly stadium in Switzerland that is not big enough to host the event.

The anti-Liverpool mob might argue that this 'piddly little stadium' is an entirely appropriate venue for the final of a tournament which many of the top teams don't want to be in.

But the probable result is that thousands of ticketless Liverpool fans will descend on the Swiss city, egged on by Jurgen Klopp, who has confirmed that Basel is a wonderful city and told the fans not to get too hung up on actually getting into the ground. The big winners will be the publicans of Basel.

It is even worth going there without having a ticket for the game to be around the stadium and enjoy yourself and life as a Liverpool supporter, and that is what you should do and not worry about the size of the stadium or tickets you can get.

The club does not endorse their exuberant manager's sentiments, calling on ticketless fans to stay home for safety reasons.

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Since the UEFA Cup/Europa League Final switched from a two-legged to a one-legged affair in 1998, only one final has been played in front of a smaller attendance than that allowed by St. Jakob's Park.

Juventus Stadium, which now boasts an attendance of 41,000 only allowed 33,120 souls into the place for the 2014 Europa League Final between Sevilla and Benfica. (For the record, The Dublin Arena - as it was retitled for the event - allowed 45,000 people in for the 2011 showpiece between Porto and Braga.)

Before it was discontinued in 1999, the Cup Winners Cup was routinely held in venues with lower attendances. You have to go back to 1969, and to the Bernabau strangely enough, to find the last time they let fewer in for a European Cup Final. Only 31, 000 saw Gianni Rivera trump Johan Cruyff as Milan beat Ajax 2-1 in the final.

 

Conor Neville
Article written by
Perennial finalist in stand-up comedy competitions and former Contract Lawyer/ Coal Salesman with Corless, Corless and Sweeney

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