Arsenal and Chelsea are set to return half of their ticket allocations for the Europa League final, with fans struggling to find affordable ways to attend the fixture. If you aren’t able to attend the game you can still bet on it using this bet365 code and watch the game at home or stream it online.

The Europa League trophy is displayed ahead of the competition's quarter-finals draw, on March 15, 2019 in Nyon. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
The Europa League trophy is displayed ahead of the competition’s quarter-finals draw, on March 15, 2019, in Nyon. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

When the fan allocations for Arsenal’s Europa League final in Baku were originally announced, there was an uproar over how small they were. The Gunners were set to receive just 6,000 tickets for a stadium that could hold well over 60,000 fans, with the same being the case for Chelsea.

Since then, however, it’s become clear why UEFA restricted the allocations so heavily. The location of the final, as well as the infrastructure in place to deal with tourists, makes it impossible to find cheap direct flights, particularly given both sets of fans are travelling to and from the same place.

To attend the final as a fan from the United Kingdom, you either have to spend ridiculous amounts of money, travel on lengthy flights with multiple stops, or both.

As a result, only a small group of supporters can afford the cost and inconvenience of the final. According to the Daily Mail, around half of the 6,000 tickets have been sold by each club, and the remainder are set to be returned.

It’s a huge shame that such an important and potentially exciting final between local rivals on the European stage will only have a small portion of their regular match-going fans in attendance. We can only hope UEFA learn from this and revise their planning strategies for future events. Somehow I doubt that will happen.