Arsenal vs Chelsea in the Europa League final
There are just six days to go before Arsenal face Chelsea in the Europa League final.
If Arsenal win the showpiece, the Gunners will earn a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Indeed, Arsenal, who finished fifth in the Premier League in 2018-19, will be catapulted into pot 1 in the 2019-20 Champions League draw if they can win the final.
For Chelsea, the stakes are a little less pressing.
After finishing third in the Premier League, the Blues are already in next year’s Champions League.
However, should Chelsea win the final, Maurizio Sarri would finally scoop up the first major trophy of his managerial career.
Of course, Chelsea lost the Carabao Cup final to Man City back in February.
Arsenal & Chelsea have sold a low amount of tickets
In the Times on Thursday, there’s an update on the ticket sales for the Europa League final.
Readers are warned that the Baku Olympic Stadium, which seats 68,700 fans, could be sparse next Wednesday night.
Incredibly, the Premier League clubs have sold less than 6,000 tickets for the final combined:
Arsenal and Chelsea are planning to return a total of over 6,000 tickets — more than half their initial allocations — as they have only sold 3,500 and 2,000 respectively.
— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) May 22, 2019
Ironically, when the ticket allocations for Arsenal and Chelsea came out, the narrative doing the rounds was that the Premier League clubs had been wronged by the small number of tickets they received.
Indeed, Arsenal complained about the ticket allocation at the time, releasing a statement saying:
We are in active discussions with Uefa for more tickets for our fans but this disappointing ticket allocation obviously presents us with extreme difficulties in how we allocate tickets to you, our loyal supporters.
As many of you will be aware, we are proud to have approximately 45,000 season-ticket holders and over 180,000 official members.
It is inevitable that with an allocation of just 6,000 tickets for the final, there will be thousands of fans who have supported the club for years and been part of our Europa League journey this season, who will be unable to attend this match.
At the same time, it’s been common to see tweets like the following spread around social media recently:
This is actually a disgrace.
This is the ticket allocation given to Chelsea and Arsenal fans for the Europa League final… The rest is for UEFA sponsors.
Over the two European finals only 36,000 will be allocated to fans of the clubs from 151,000 available. pic.twitter.com/UqD0uO8V20
— Andy Robson Tips (@AndyRobsonTips) May 13, 2019
Why are fans skipping the Europa League final?
There appears to be a variety of reasons for Arsenal and Chelsea fans not buying up the Europa League final tickets.
Firstly, the location is a problem. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is an expensive and tricky destination to get to from England.
On top of that, English fans need visas to attend the game.
Then there’s the costs of travelling to the final, and the fact that the game kicks off at 11 pm local time.