Dear Mr Platini,
I email regarding your report about Liverpool fans being ‘œThe Worst In Europe’ based on alleged findings by a ‘œneutral’ undercover force being used in the last few years and the exception in which I take these comments.
Whilst I am happy to admit, the debacle that was this years Champions League final in Athens was partly due to a minority of Liverpool fans, the way in which it appears you seems to show Liverpool fans in general is somewhat lacking in respect for the general fan.
It seems as though you as an organisation will use any excuse as some form of blanket for your own shortcomings in organising what is supposed to be the pinnacle of club football in Europe (and if I am being honest, the world!).
Again, the fans are being pretty much wholly blamed for incidents that should also be blamed on lack of organisational skills on the part of UEFA.
We must note that this season alone, there have been incidents involving fans from numerous non English clubs that have caused some rather unsavoury incidents in you competitions this year. Most notably, Roma against Manchester United and Sevilla against Tottenham Hotspur.
Do you choose to make full blow reports on these incidents, I think not!
Please for once stop trying to deflect criticism from your organisation and accept your responsibility to the general fan. After all, you do get handsomely rewarded for it by SONY, HEINEKEN, MASTERCARD and various other corporate sponsors.
Maybe for the future you can take on board some of the following suggestions that appear to be the general consensus across Europe from ALL fans of the game to avoid the incidents at this years final;
1. Select a stadium that is BUILT for football
2. Ensure this stadium has a capacity that can hold as many fans as possible without having to restrict seating so you can gain more revenue
3. Ensure tickets go to the 2 teams participating in the final with only a few being given to the residents of the city hosting said final
4. Ensure tickets going to corporate clients are used by said clients
5. Ensure your tickets have proper security on them and are not easily forged
6. Ensure the local police know how to handle large events in this type of sport and have respect for the rights of other human beings
Please also remember that you should be showing ALL local associations that things must be done correctly. I get the feeling that had the disgraceful incident that happened to Anders Frisk, happened at say Anfield, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or The Emirates Stadium that sure enough, there would have been the severest sanctions taken against the relevant English club. You seem to not too bothered by incident involving non English clubs at all. Maybe you feel that all your shortcomings in recent years can be pushed behind a veil of maybe Heysel in 1985, and it would not surprise me if you dared to mention Hillsborough, under the current climate and try to leverage as much cover for your organisation from that.
Now I am of the understanding that you as the new President of UEFA have some strong views regarding the way in which the Champions League should move forward with regards to the rules governing the participation of the number of teams from each country. Dare I suggest that you take this view with the way in which some members of your organisation go about their daily work. By this, I point the finger firmly at Mr William Gaillard. This man is supposed to communicate your finding / details to a Europe wide audience. This is the man that in 2005 said that regardless of Liverpool winning the Champions League, under no circumstances would they be playing in the following seasons competition as they finished fifth in their league. He also stated that there would be no rule changes to allow this! I wonder what happened next? We all know, the rules were changed and Liverpool did participate! I suggest a replacement be found for him as soon as possible because as the public face of UEFA he is quickly becoming the laughing stock of PR Men!
In finishing, I say again, I do not condone the actions of a minority of fans at this years final, but it seems to blur the line between what is right and wrong on a corporate level. You have an obligation to ensure that the above 6 points are carried out as a necessity each year.
I hope that whoever reaches the final in Moscow next year has an enjoyable trip with none of the problems from this year. UEFA have a duty to ensure this happens.