Friday, February 18, 2011

Michel, you bell

Cher Monsieur Platini,

I believe your UEFA organisation has out-done FIFA in fleecing the real fans of the Beautiful Game.

The cheapest ticket for this year's Champions League final will cost $286, more than twice what it cost to watch Inter play Bayern in last year's showpiece.

"We don't think the Champions League final is overpriced," UEFA spokesman Giorgio Marchetti announced to incredulous onlookers. "It's London and London is expensive."

I don't need Giorgio to tell me that, but running costs and hospitality for your annual cavalcade cannot cost more than twice as much here as in other European capitals, can they? Please Michel, show me the breakdown of your business plan so that I may stand corrected and apologize. Until then I'll assume you're profiteering.

With 90,000 seats at Wembley that's a lot of lucre you're pocketing. The London Olympic Stadium holds ten thousand fewer but for the Men's 100m final in 2012 it is charging less than a third of what you are, while Wimbledon's Centre Court has 15,000 but asks $170 for the men's singles final, the same amount FIFA charged for the 2010 World Cup Final. So why $286?

Don't forget match tickets are still the biggest source of revenue football has, so those ticket-purchasers should be respected, not exploited. And you said you changed the final to a Saturday so that families could attend more easily, but who can afford to come to this one other than the Royal Family?

Michel, I loved you as a player. You were a genius on the field and I had hoped you would carry that intelligence into the corridors of soccer power in Zurich. But this is even worse than anything coming from that other organization you would like to run some day. Don't you know England's in an age of austerity?

Of course the supporters of the two finalists must come first. But I was looking forward to coming along in May as a paid-up member of the F.A. family, having enjoyed being at Wembley in that capacity the last time it hosted the final. You remember, when Barcelona beat Sampdoria and their jinx to lift the cup in 1992.

I am honoured UEFA chose my city to host their showpiece. But if you are going to charge that much to watch it in the flesh, I'm off down the pub instead.

Au revoir, Michel. It could have been amour, but it is over now.

-Sean O'Conor


Alex Larsen said...

gotta compete with the super bowl duh.

Phil McCracken said...

UEFA and FIFA are going to kill the golden goose with their most recent behavior.

I would love it if people boycotted this event because of these exorbitant prices, but they'll probably still attend and protest it in another way like by wearing some oddly colored scarf or something that's equally ineffective.

xminer said...

...and beer will still suck.