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May 3, 2013

Chelsea fans slam ticket sales

Tickets to this month's Europa League final are being offered for sale on a ticket marketplace at vastly inflated prices.

Chelsea and Benfica have been given just 9,800 tickets each for the showpiece event at the Amsterdam ArenA on May 15, with 18,000 tickets having been sold to the general public via a ballot held in January. The stadium will have a capacity of 48,000 for the match.

Tickets have appeared for sale on Viagogo, Chelsea's official ticket resale partner in the UK, at prices ranging from $351 to $3,712. Although it is against the law for football tickets to be advertised for resale in the UK, simply switching to the USA version of the site brings up the Europa League final listing.

Face value of the tickets is £39 to £117 with UEFA selling gold and platinum packages at €690 and €890.

"The allocation is clearly inadequate and I would appeal to Uefa to think about changing this in future," Tim Rolls from the Chelsea Supporters' Trust told the Guardian. "Effectively it would mean less than half of the club's season ticket holders having the opportunity to attend, and for under 40% of those in the stadium to be fans of the two clubs seems ridiculous. It is shocking.

"Viagogo and the people who shamelessly sell tickets on their site, whether they are sponsors or corporate client, are making major money out of this so it's another example of football being taken away from the everyday fan. The prices being offered for some of those tickets on Viagogo at present is obscene, even if it doesn't mean they will end up being sold at that price.

"It will also affect the atmosphere on the night because, even if Chelsea or Benfica fans do buy up some of the 'Uefa family' tickets, they'll be dotted around the stadium."

Tickets are also listed for sale on Ebay, though these listings will be removed by the online marketplace as the sale of football tickets on the site is prohibited.

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