The distance between Arsenal F.C. (Emirates Stadium) and Chelsea F.C. (Stamford Bridge) is 6 miles but to watch the Europa Cup Final between the two, the teams and fans will have to the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, 2,468 miles away.
To add insult to injury, fans of both teams will have to scrap it out over the ticket allocation of just 6,000 per team for the 68,000 capacity stadium with the remainder going to sponsors, broadcasters and corporations.
With no direct flight to Baku and the headache of gaining a visa on short notice to enter Azerbaijan, there is the elevated cost of the profiteering airlines and accommodation owners and that is if you can get a ticket which range from £26 to £121 but have already began appeared for resale on ticketgum.com priced at £5,500 each.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, whose team face another English club in Tottenham in their Champions League Final in Madrid, has called for 'more sensible and reasonable decisions on where finals are staged' and said he had sympathy for supporters facing elevated prices for hotel rooms and flights, and with the challenge facing fans travelling to the European Cup Finals.
Uefa have defended their decision to play in Baku, stating that: 'It is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final while the venue has to be chosen around two years in advance' and the decision to only allocate 12,000 tickets to the clubs due to: 'the logistical capacity of airports in and around the host city, it was deemed that around 15,000 spectators would be able to travel from abroad'.
Why UEFA can't do the sensible thing and play the game between two English clubs at the 90,000 Capacity Wembley Stadium, 8 miles from Arsenal Stadium and 7 miles from Chelsea's, and avoid the nightmare facing Arsenal and Chelsea fans emptying their bank accounts to traipse to the furthest eastern edge of Europe is beyond me but i will be taking the less weary and expensive route of
going to a local pub, with a drop of something alcoholic to cheer on the Gunners.