The price of football has never been so high and the red tape around travel has never been so limiting. It is, therefore, hard to imagine many in the UK are considering going abroad to watch Messi don his Parisian blue, or experience the yellow wall first-hand in Dortmund, or witness a 90th minute winner in the flair-spangled San Siro, as I did, in the 2017 Milan derby.
It feels a long time since any of this was a possibility, indeed it was a long time – the wait for fans to get back in the stadium has taken over 500 days. With the 21/22 season starting to draw forth the seasonal patterns which will define our dialogue until the end of May, we have begun to realise the hope of rising capacities in all major `European leagues. Ligue 1 has no limit on crowd capacities, except at the discretion of clubs. Serie A is currently permitting 50% capacity. The Bundesliga is allowing capacities of 25,000, while La Liga currently allows stadiums to be 40% full. All of these countries allow travellers from the UK, contingent on presenting a full vaccination certificate.
With all this in mind, now seems like a good time to once again consider a trip abroad to watch the football. If the facts above have peaked your interest I beg you not to start looking at tickets on Viagogo or Ticketmaster which serve as platforms for ticket scalpers (something I will write about in greater length soon). If, other than these websites, you’re unsure where to get tickets, I happen to know a guy. In fact, I am that guy.
Let me be clear, I didn’t choose the life of flight and match ticket aggregation, it chose me – crafting me carefully over numerous increasingly successful football trips. There was the unreasonably cold February night watching KV Mechelen after failing to get our hands on Anderlecht tickets. We watched PSV in Eindhoven, a city famed for its fevered insistence that Phillips – the electronics company – really is the worthy subject of an entire museum. The match was a genuinely entertaining 4-0 drubbing, however had we known how limited the city was in other aspects, we may have chosen a different destination. I don’t mean to insult the people of Eindhoven but I’m sure it’s a fact they long ago confronted. The city’s official guide lists its airport and its proximity to numerous European capitals as 2 of the ten reasons to visit. That’s correct – 20% of the city’s highlights are, in fact, escape routes.
Subsequent trips have proven far more fruitful. As it transpires, tickets for good matches, bought from club websites or UEFA, are affordable. We watched a Milan derby set alight by an incredible Mauro Icardi hat-trick, the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as a disordered Valencia getting exposed by Marc Cucurella. All of these games were cheaper than our Viagogo-purchased Eindhoven debacle.
On the back of this, we decided to help British fans avoid paying extortionate fees for tickets that should be affordable. Click ‘Subscribe’ to go to our home page and join our free weekly newsletter containing the best flight and match ticket deals to watch Europe’s best teams. By doing so you can help us get the ugly fees out of the beautiful game.