Tickets for the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham were rarer than rocking horse excrement.
Thanks to UEFA’s bone-headed decision to give roughly 50% of the available tickets to their corporate buddies, it meant genuine Liverpool and Spurs fans had to scramble like crazy to get their hands on a ticket.
Many forked out thousands of pounds to get to the game, and some forked out thousands and still didn’t get to the game: as many duped fans will testify.
That group includes lifelong Spurs fan Wynne Evans, better known as the annoying tenor from the Go Compare adverts, who paid £7,000 for tickets for him and his son. They never arrived, with the ticket agency allegedly selling them to a higher bidder instead.
Meanwhile, a group of football fans had a different approach to getting inside Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for the big game.
Smoke and Mirrors
Sometimes in life, you have to think outside the box.
And that’s exactly what a group of fans did that tried to sneak into the Champions League final dressed as stewards.
UEFA reported that an ‘organised group of people impersonating genuine stewards’ had been behind a plot to steal tickets for the showpiece occasion on Saturday.
European football’s governing body claimed that their motive was to steal tickets as if they were ‘conducting visual or technical ticket checks’.
That revelation came after Spanish police reported seizing fake high-vis jackets and makeshift devices for checking tickets, as well as a series of fake accreditation passes.
Fans were asked to show their tickets only at the designated check zones posted outside of the Wanda Metropolitano, and that’s how the gang’s plot was foiled.
A statement from UEFA read:
“Supporters should not show tickets to individuals or small groups of people who could be wearing fake bibs and might approach them on the way to the stadium, outside of the official check zones.”
In the end, more than 33,000 Liverpool and Spurs supporters made their way inside the stadium to see the Reds’ victory, with the other 35,000 tickets handed out to corporate partners, sponsors and the local community.
Power to the People
The foiled plan brought up memories of the antics of Karl Power, the Mancunian prankster who has a habit of attending major sporting events without paying for a ticket.
Who can forget when he got onto the pitch ahead of a Champions League game between Manchester United and Bayern Munich? Dressed head to toe in a United kit, Power took a knee for the official team photo, taking his place next to Andy Cole. Even though he was noticed by the players, Power managed to stay on the pitch for the photoshoot before scampering into the stands to watch the game as a punter.
Alex Hunter, Santiago Munez, Karl Power…
Some big names in football – and they’re not even footballers!
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) 14 December 2018
He followed that up by taking to the turf at Headingley in an Ashes test between England and Australia. Somehow, Power evaded security and got onto the pitch dressed as an England batsman. He was only rumbled after taking off his helmet as he made his way to the middle.
Other incidents followed, including getting onto the podium at the British Grand Prix and playing a quick game of tennis on Centre Court just prior to a Tim Henman match at Wimbledon.
But his pranking career ended when he got onto the pitch at Old Trafford to re-enact a Diego Forlan goal for United against Liverpool. He was subsequently banned for life by the club.