They say you can’t put a price on loyal support in football. However, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has, and it’s £20.
The club announced via their official website that they’ll be subsidising all tickets for their trip to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final on April 22 by £20 as a thank you for fans’ continued support:
The ticket selling arrangements for our Champions League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday 22 April have been announced, with Chelsea Football Club subsidising the cost of each ticket by £20. This is to thank our travelling supporters for the fantastic backing they have given to the team over the course of the whole season, and follows similar subsidies to travel and tickets for domestic away games.
With an allocation of 3,071 tickets at the Vicente Caldero, per the report, the heralded 12th man will undoubtedly play a vital role in Chelsea’s quest for the final, and they’ll do so with collective deeper pockets thanks to the club’s generosity.
With tickets reportedly as expensive as £99 per seat in the Spanish capital, fans were rightly outraged at being subject to such exploitation, but the club have come to the rescue.
Atletico Madrid Away: £99.50, £83, £74.50, £58... Tickets - 3k... #Chelsea— 10th Mar 1905 (@10thMar1905) April 14, 2014
Of course, it’s not like fans as passionate as Chelsea’s would boycott the match due to the extortionate ticket prices. There would be a full house at the Vicente Calderon no matter what, but the gesture goes a long way and has been deservedly praised:
Chelsea subsidise tickets for semi final away game at Atletico Madrid by £20, great to see. #CFC— The Away Fans (@theawayfans) April 14, 2014
After progressing to the semi-finals in the most dramatic of circumstances at home to Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea will believe that Lady Luck is once again wearing blue as they bid to reach their third Champions League final in seven campaigns.
With a second leg at Stamford Bridge to come following the trip to Madrid, the Blues will need exceptional support to push players toward taking a result back to West London, and they’ll certainly be getting that from the 3,000-strong army.
Clubs across Europe should take note of such a class act by Chelsea. It wasn’t so long ago that Bayern Munich acted in a similar manner for their trip to Arsenal—per BBC Sport—and they were rewarded with a routine 2-0 victory.
Jose Mourinho and Chelsea would love to follow in Bayern’s footsteps in Madrid, as they look to take back the trophy that called Stamford Bridge its home just two years ago.