Anticipation for for this season’s Champions League draw on Thursday 30 August is already huge, with supporters ready to make plans. But mixed with excitement is the dread that some of the issues travelling fans faced last season will be repeated.
These issues included exorbitant ticket prices. flight-price hikes, availability, cancellations that thousands experienced trying to get to Kyiv for the final, and visa requirements. Thankfully, LFC intervened last season and supporters travelling to Russia for our group-game fixture did not have to cover the cost of a visa application.
Then there is the general treatment of fans. Think back to Sevilla last November when many supporters endured a hostile reception and were mistreated by police and stewards. We are still awaiting feedback on investigations into this.
For Premier League away games we have the £30 ticket cap, but in Europe Liverpool, and other big teams’ supporters are treated as a “cash cow” with prices inflated for their visit – Sevilla and Porto in the last campaign are classic examples. This needs to change. Spirit of Shankly have been working with other supporter trusts on this, but more needs to be done by the clubs themselves.
SOS ask that LFC work with us, the supporters, to help alleviate many of these issues as we embark on another, hopefully long and enjoyable, European campaign. In doing so, we can jointly address problems, raise concerns and get answers to questions that will make a positive and lasting difference. Whether setting up a European Away Supporters working group, pressurising UEFA, or working with other clubs, we are committed to doing all we can to help.
Given we are “the World’s Greatest Football Family”, it is time we acted as one.