The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League form an important part of the European game—providing clubs, players, and fans with an opportunity to dream big, while also significantly shaping the financial, competitive, and scheduling balance of the whole football pyramid.
In view of this—as well as a general commitment to fairness and sustainability—FSE believes that UEFA club competitions must be well regulated in the interests of all stakeholders, particularly the fans who fund them and make them a spectacle.
To this end, we have campaigned to improve hosting conditions for fans of clubs that compete in Europe. All too often, these fans—especially travelling ones—are forced to contend with extortionate ticket prices, hostile policing and stewarding, and poor to non-existent facilities. Our Away Fans Survey regularly highlights this fact, bringing any problems to the attention of the football authorities. Our Fan Lawyer Network, meanwhile, provides advice and support to those who encounter difficulties while abroad.
We are determined, however, to make sure that the contribution of fans is recognised and that their rights are protected. That is why we have called for the introduction of mandatory minimum standards when it comes to hosting conditions. Moreover, we successfully lobbied for the implementation of a price cap on away tickets (established in 2019 – 70 EUR in the Champions League and 45 EUR in the Europa League) and continue to make the case for that cap to be lowered to a more reasonable level.
In terms of the competitions themselves, FSE has consistently opposed UEFA’s plans to expand, restructure, and change access requirements to the Champions League. We believe that such proposals represent another step in the wrong direction, threatening to make the gap between the haves and have-nots bigger, put further pressure on domestic competitions, and extract even more time and money from fans. Published in March 2021, The Future of European Competitions: An FSE Perspective explains our opposition in greater detail and sets out an alternative vision of football based on solidarity, transparency, and sustainability.
If you encounter any problems while travelling to watch your team play in UEFA club competitions, please contact us via info[at]fanseurope.com or our Twitter account. Fans of national teams can find more information on the FSE Fans’ Embassies website.
Away Fans Survey
The FSE Away Fans Survey was launched at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. Its purpose is to monitor hosting conditions for away fans who travel to watch their team in UEFA club competitions. Over the past few years, thousands of fans have completed the survey, providing an unparalleled insight into the situation across the whole UEFA region. The results continue to inform FSE’s policy and lobbying efforts.
The Future of European Competitions – Policy Paper
Most fans oppose UEFA’s plans to expand and restructure the Champions League from 2024-2025 onwards. In March 2021, FSE published a comprehensive policy paper explaining the reasons for this oppostion and setting out an alternative vision for the future of European football.
FSE Fan Lawyer Network
We know that, through no fault of their own, fans can encounter serious problems when following their team, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. That is why, in 2011, FSE established the Fan Lawyer Network, which serves two main purposes: first, to provide a forum for likeminded lawyers from different countries to exchange information; and second, to make sure that fans have access to legal advice and support when travelling. At present, the network encompasses 30 lawyers across 15 UEFA nations.
Find out more about the FSE Fan Lawyer Network.
Away Ticket Price Cap
FSE has consistently lobbied for an away ticket price cap to stop fans being ripped off by unscrupulous clubs, working closely with national and club-based fans’ groups to collect data and develop practical proposals. These efforts paid off in 2019, but while the current price cap in European competitions represents progress, we believe it is too high.