Liverpool have complained to the “highest levels” of European football governing body UEFA as spiralling accommodation and travel costs threaten to turn the Champions League final against Real Madrid into a nightmare for fans.
Thousands of supporters from England and Spain will converge on Kiev for Saturday’s showpiece between two of the giants of European football.
But while excitement levels are mounting, fans are being forced to pay extortionate prices after hotels in the Ukrainian capital began charging up to 100 times their standard rates and some supporters found their early reservations had been cancelled.
Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore said the Ukrainian capital, which hosted the Euro 2012 final, was not fit for purpose, highlighting difficulties with flights and accommodation.
“They just don’t have the airport infrastructure and the hotel capacity to cope with an event of this size and there isn’t another major city within real hitting distance of it,” he told the Liverpool Echo newspaper.
“It’s not only affected Liverpool fans but Real Madrid fans too. There will be lessons learned from this. Rest assured, I’ve raised this at the highest levels of UEFA.”
Liverpool head of club and supporter liaison Tony Barrett said he sympathised with fans over their plight.
“For those of you who get to Kiev, I hope it’s worth every penny and every ounce of effort that you have put in,” he tweeted.
“For those who don’t — and there are already far too many in this position — I apologise for not being able to help you. Football without fans is nothing.”
Real Madrid fans are faced with similar problems. More than 2,000 have reportedly returned their tickets due to the logistical difficulties and spiralling costs, although the club have not confirmed the report.