Fans set to return for this season's Champions League final
Fans set to return for this season’s Champions League final with as many as 37,500 potentially allowed in Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium
- Fans are set to return for this season’s Champions League final in Istanbul
- As many as 37,500 supporters could be allowed into the Ataturk Stadium
- The likelihood of tickets for fans of the two qualifying clubs remains small
This season’s Champions League final is set to be played out in front of thousands of fans, Sportsmail has learned.
Talks are at an advanced stage, and sources have disclosed around ‘30 to 50 per cent’ of Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium is set to be occupied for the May 29 showpiece.
The prospect of the fixture being moved had been raised, amid fears it would be unlikely to generate sufficient revenue to make it worthwhile for the host.
This season’s Champions League final is set to be played out in front of thousands of fans
Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium is set to be occupied for the May 29 showpiece
However, discussions with the Turkish government are ongoing and it is understood that between 22,500 and 37,500 fans may be permitted entry.
The likelihood of tickets going to each of the two qualifying clubs is small, but has not yet been ruled out. Should tickets only be sold to locals, the number allowed to watch the game is likely to be closer to 50 per cent of the 75,415-capacity, rather than 30 per cent.
The stadium was due to host last year’s Champions League final until the outbreak of coronavirus triggered a rethink and the fixture was shifted to Lisbon.
The likelihood of tickets going to each of the two qualifying clubs is small but has not been ruled out
Earlier this week, it emerged that the Carabao and FA Cup finals were being lined up as test events, allowing limited numbers of supporters into Wembley ahead of Euro 2020. The EFL play-off finals may also be used to trial the return of fans.
Meanwhile, Premier League clubs rejected a number of the proposals contained within UEFA’s plans to expand the Champions League after 2024.
Both the awarding of additional places based on continental performance over the previous five years and a new scheduling format which would see the competition played every month raised objections.
There is considerable concern that the revamped Champions League, which would feature an extra four teams and see a stage in which all entrants would play 10 fixtures, may draw broadcast revenue away from the Premier League. Instead, the top flight wants to see any expanded competition completing its group stages by Christmas.
Premier League clubs rejected a number of the proposals contained within UEFA’s plans to expand the Champions League after 2024
The objections may well fall on deaf ears, with UEFA unlikely to shift their position unless opposition is widespread and not limited to England.
At Wednesday’s meeting, clubs also agreed to continue making all matches available to watch on television until the Government permits the return of fans.
Games will be shown via existing broadcast partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and the BBC.
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