In the aftermath of UEFA once again showing their utter disregard for genuine football supporters, we take a look at the logistical nightmare faced by all involved in moving the match 200 miles away from Madrid.
Those with hotels booked in Madrid will now have to find public transport, unless Uefa and/or LFC do what they should and lay on free coaches, to the new venue – expected to be Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium.
Uefa have said they are working with the club to see what can be done to move the charter flights from Madrid into the new city of choice. Itself a huge operation, especially with only 2 working days (Monday and Tuesday) to organise!
Either way, most fans will no doubt end up financially out of pocket and hugely disrupted. Those with flights home in the early hours of Thursday morning are unlikely to be able to make it back to Madrid for their flight and anyone intending to work on Thursday will therefore be again out of pocket.
It is highly unlikely Rafa Benitez will be happy at the prospect of using the hotel and training facilities the club have booked in Madrid then having to travel 200 miles to the new stadium for training and the match itself, therefore a new hotel and arrangements will have to be found. Again, the short timeframe is far from ideal and a huge headache ahead of an important Champions League match.
It won’t just be Liverpool fans needing to make the 200 odd miles away from Madrid – what about the Atletico fans who have tickets for the match? Will the 50,000 fans all intend travelling to the match? Spanish fans traditionally don’t travel well but at least they know the country’s public transport infrastructure, unlike Liverpool fans who will have travelled independently.
New venue stadium
Hosting a Champions League match takes preparation! No doubt Uefa will ensure all their advertising boards are firmly in place time though so nothing to worry about there. But the stadium needs staffing; stewards, kiosks, shops etc. All in 2 days?
New venue city
Emergency services, police and local organisation needs to be in place for the game. The local authorities won’t have such measures in place – will police assigned to be in place in Madrid travel to the new venue or again does several hundred staff need putting in place within two days?
Then there’s other logistics such as media facilities; tv, journalists etc. and matchday merchandise. Issues with tickets may also arise.
The logistical headache faced by all involved means there is only one sensible decision for Uefa to make, that is to ensure the match remains in Madrid.
But since when has sensible and Uefa gone together? Exactly.