It’s the stuff of dreams. Imagine logging in to your emails and finding a message saying that you had won VIP tickets to watch the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham in Madrid, with flights, accommodation and £250 in spending money also thrown into the mix for good measure.
And to make things even better, this wasn’t some scam email from an imaginary warlord or a company that doesn’t exist. This was an email from Zavvi, the retailer backed by Richard Branson, with Mastercard also on board as a partner.
“We here at Zavvi would like to wish you a huge congratulations as you have been chosen as the winner of our Mastercard competition, winning a VIP trip for two adults to attend the UEFA Champions League Final Madrid 2019,” the message read.
Sadly, if something appears to be too good to be true then often it is.
Someone at the brand might be waking up with a headache today and possibly their P45 in hand after somehow managing to email the whole of Zavvi’s subscribed customer list to tell them they had won the Champions League prize.
The firm blamed ‘technical issues’, as it so often the case, but this truly is a PR disaster for the brand with thousands of people left mightily disappointed – including many Liverpool and Tottenham supporters, who otherwise won’t be able to attend the game.
“We’re extremely sorry to have got our loyal customers’ hopes up, however due to human error a mistake was made with our mail-out and unfortunately there is only one winner of the tickets,” was Zavvi’s consolatory missive.
Ticket Fiasco Highlights Plight of ‘Real’ Fans
If the Zavvi competition had been conducted correctly, it would have been a massive fillip for the winners – especially those who support either club that will contest the final.
Once again, UEFA have shown their class – or lack thereof – by allocating just over 16,000 tickets to Liverpool and the same to Tottenham: and so around 33,000 of the fans inside Atletico Madrid’s 68,000 capacity Wanda Metropolitano Stadium will be there to enjoy a historic moment involving their team.
And yep, that means that more than half of the people inside the ground for European football’s most historic match will be corporate partners and those who blag a ticket due to their companies sponsoring the Champions League.
It’s an absolute sham, and unfortunately not one unique to UEFA: anyone who witnesses the thousands of empty seats at Wembley Stadium as the second half of the FA Cup kicks off will note the corporate brigade tucking in to their prawn sandwiches and glasses of Moet in the commercial boxes with little or no interest in the football being played out on the turf.
Naturally, airlines and hotels have decided to cash in as well by hiking prices up to astronomical levels.
So even if you are one of the lucky ones able to get a ticket, you will still have to spend £750 for a flight to Madrid from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport courtesy of EasyJet; up £260 on the prices of a week before.
Of course, you could always cop the £580 for an indirect flight to Madrid via Bucharest, and that will only cost you 15 hours of your time on the way to the final and 21 hours on the way back.
As far as the tickets are concerned, you can get in the cheap seats for £60, otherwise it will cost you between £150-£500.
As one of Zavvi’s partners, Mastercard, might muse: watching your team in the Champions League final….priceless. Or around £1000, to be precise.