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Gunners chief's frustration over Europa League ticket allocation

 

By Jim van Wijk

Arsenal fans have been left "heartbroken" at not being able to travel to Baku to watch their team play Chelsea in the Europa League final, according to managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

Since the two London clubs qualified, concerns have been raised over the showpiece event being hosted in Azerbaijan's capital on May 29.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea expressed disappointment at an allocation of 6,000 tickets each for the Olympic Stadium, which can hold a capacity of 69,870.

Travel has also proved an issue for those planning to make the round trip of 5,000 miles from London to see their team bid to lift the trophy.

Uefa competitions director Giorgio Marchetti has written a letter to Arsenal regarding the issues raised by the club.

Venkatesham accepted the decision by Uefa had been taken well before the finalists were known but revealed supporters had been in touch to express their own frustrations.

"We are really disappointed that we have ended up in a situation where we are playing in a major European final and, because of travel issues, the maximum number of tickets that can be made available to fans of both clubs is 6,000," Venkatesham said.

"So we are going to be playing in a stadium that is bigger than Emirates Stadium and both clubs are only going to get 6,000 tickets. It's hugely disappointing."

Venkatesham added: "We have been receiving calls and letters from fans who are heartbroken because they are not able to go to the final, despite following Arsenal home and away for years."

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