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By Pete Moore On May 11th, 2019

When spring turns to summer the last week in May

You know you will find us down old Baku way

It’s a wonderful place at this time of the year

But everyone took out a loan to get here

So the final of Europe’s premier (cough) club competition will be contested by the mighty Arsenal and Chelsea – Up the Arse. Conveniently, for two London clubs, the final will held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Have a look at a map. It’s further east than Baghdad. So it’s die-hard fans only making the near two-day journey, one way. Not that there’ll be many of them. The clubs have been allocated a whopping 6000 tickets each. Since the Baku Olympic Stadium holds some 69,000 people, I assume that UEFA will press gang locals into going, because the corporates won’t bother. Football hates empty seats so they’ll have to do something. And whoever goes will have a rotten view because there’s a running track around the pitch. Everyone except, it seems, UEFA knows that running tracks have no place in a football stadium.

Jolly well done UEFA, another stellar example of thinking of the fans. I can hear some: “But Pete, UEFA didn’t know which clubs would make the final, and it wants to spread the love.” Fine, but in Europe and not effectively Asia. Besides, it’s nailed on that two Western European clubs will make it and not FC Two Bobski of Georgia. It’s a pig of a journey, and that’s from London, which is about as connected a city as there is.

That’s not all. Armenians appear to be persone non grata in Azerbaijan. Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is Armenian, and he won’t go unless guarantees are made for his safety.

So bravo UEFA, slow hand claps all round. Maybe next year the final could be held in a similarly suitable country, like Yemen or Libya.

10 Responses to “FANS ARE STILL CHAFF”

  1. I imagine it isn’t so much die-hards only. I imagine it will be more of the fair weather brigade who can actually afford it.

    But yeah it is kind of insane to have a match that is going to most likely involve teams from one of the big five leagues (with the Dutch and Portugal making the odd appearance) on the far side of Europe.

    Rugby also seem to be taking leave of their senses in this as well. The European Cup, the Challenge Cup and the Pro 14 finals are all being played in soccer grounds.

    Though you should look on the bright side Pete. Chelsea have played in three European finals in the past. All three have been against teams in red. In two of them, both in western Europe, Chelsea won. But in the most important of them, in the former Soviet Union, Chelsea lost.

  2. *I’m obviously excluding the Cup Winners Cup from that as it no longer exists, and as such the only one I recognise is the 1991 Cup Winners Cup.

  3. At least the Champions League final is in sunny Madrid, so Spurs fans will find at least some compensation in the weather.

    Incredible that both the CL and Europa League finals are exclusively Premier League affairs, with three London clubs.

  4. Well said, Pete. Stupid place to hold a European final. But are you surprised? UEFA are a gang of crooks.

    My cousin worked over in Baku and said that, the week before the Eurovision, he saw a van go round picking up “unsightly” harmless old men from the streets as they didn’t fit the modern utopia they were trying to portray.

  5. Saracens just beat Leinster to become European champions. That must be the most physical club/provincial game I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how they keep getting back up. Unbelievable stuff.

  6. Pete

    I’m predicting a North London double in the two finals. Czech will retire on a high note against his old club, you just know he will. And the Sperz have had their name on the Champions League since December. The Scousers will fail in yet another final, it has become a habit.

  7. I have no idea about Baku. Chelsea have no forwards and we have no defence, so it could go either way. As much as I dislike Liverpool, Sperz winning it is unthinkable. Klopp has lost six cup finals.

  8. Surely all these recent successes by English teams simply prove how good we are at staying in and leading Europe ? 🙂

  9. On Thursday night an English team managed to beat a German team in a penalty shoot-out. That would be worthy of note, except that Chelsea had only two English players, and one was substituted by the other.

  10. On paper Liverpool should beat Spurs handily. Then again on paper at half time in the second leg Ajax should have beaten Spurs handily, and Barcelona should have beaten Liverpool handily.