Football Supporters Europe (FSE), FASFE – Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE), Spirit of Shankly (SOS) and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) are deeply disappointed with the circumstances leading to the reduced away allocation for Liverpool FC fans visiting Real Madrid for their UCL fixture on 15th March.
The redevelopment of Santiago Bernabéu stadium has reduced capacity from 80,000 to 60,000. Real Madrid, however, has only offered a 3% (1,800) away allocation to Liverpool FC fans, blaming the building works as the restricting factor. This in itself raises questions, considering media reports say the capacity will actually increase from 60,000 to 70,000 in time for this fixture, but the away allocation will remain the same, as it stands.
Uefa’s regulations clearly state that host clubs in its club competitions must provide 5% of its capacity as an away allocation. The same regulations also state host clubs are responsible for ensuring the safety of all fans attending. When Real Madrid refer to local police advice as the reason not to allow more away fans, it is – in fact – their responsibility to ensure the 5% allocation and deliver it in full. Liverpool FC should be provided with 3,500 tickets for this game and not the punitive total of 1,800.
Other stadiums, including Anfield and Camp Nou, have undergone redevelopment projects in the past without affecting any away allocation. Real Madrid has been allowed to operate with a reduced allocation for too long. The redevelopment process began in 2019 so there was ample time for the club to make alternative arrangements to accommodate the mandated 5% minimum.
It is entirely unacceptable for a club to openly disregard Uefa regulations as well as its responsibility to supporters in this manner. After its failed European super league pipe dream, this is another example of a blatant disregard for supporters in general.
Of course, all of this is without going into detail, highlighted by other stakeholders already, that the 1,800 tickets include just FOUR for LFC wheelchair users, tickets that are located in the home section and separated away from fellow travelling fans.
The reduced away allocation, if left unchanged, risks setting a worrying precedent for clubs to tamper with Uefa’s regulations and bend them to their own preference as they see appropriate. No one club, regardless of its history or standing, is more important than another, so Real Madrid must abide by Uefa’s regulations on away allocations.
Together, FSE, FASFE, SOS, and LDSA urge match hosts Real Madrid and local authorities to do everything in their power to rectify the situation without delay and put an end to the unacceptable treatment of away fans at Santiago Bernabéu.
FASFE – Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE)
Football Supporters Europe (FSE)
Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA)
Spirit of Shankly (SOS)