Arsenal fans ‘heartbroken’ by Europa League final problems, reveals club’s managing director

Ever since the two London clubs qualified for the showpiece final – hosted in Azerbaijan’s capital on May 29 – concerns have been raised over the suitability of the venue.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea expressed disappointment at an allocation of around 6,000 tickets each for the Olympic Stadium, which can hold a capacity of some 69,870.

Travel has also proved an issue for those planning to make the round trip of 5,000 miles from London to see their team bid to lift the trophy.

UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti has written a letter to Arsenal regarding the issues raised by the club.

Venkatesham accepted the decision by UEFA had been taken well before the finalists were known but revealed supporters had been in touch to express their own frustrations.

“I would say that, from a club perspective, we are really disappointed that we have ended up in a situation where we are playing in a major European final and, because of travel issues, the maximum number of tickets that can be made available to fans of both clubs is 6,000,” Venkatesham told Arsenal Media.

“So we are going to be playing in a stadium that is bigger than Emirates Stadium and both clubs are only going to get 6,000 tickets. It’s hugely disappointing.”

Venkatesham added: “We have been receiving calls and letters and much more from fans who are heartbroken because they are not able to go to the final, despite following Arsenal home and away for so many years.”

Arsenal continue to work with the Foreign Office after it emerged season-ticket holders with dual British and Armenian citizenship had been denied visas to visit Baku because of tensions with neighbouring Azerbaijan.

Gunners midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, captain of the Armenia national team, sat out the Europa League group game against Qarabag in Baku earlier this season.

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