Along with this week’s announcement about ticket prices for the Bayern Munich match came some not-so-little caveats on the official site that beautifully sum up the modern game.
I’m referring to the matter of compulsory seat relocations for a select few City fans due to UEFA regulations. The unlucky fans include those in East, South and Family Stands Level 1 – Rows A and B. Row C of block 105 of the East Stand, East Stand Level 1 – Block 105, Rows S, T and U Colin Bell Stand Level 1 – Block 126.Colin Bell Stand Level 2 – Block 223……. and on and on and on.
But of course, there’s no need to get angry, as further inspection shows that such moves are necessary. After all, we can’t be having a football match on prime-time television with a global audience without those essential raised-height perimeter advertising boards. And it’s only fair that long-suffering City fans are shuffled elsewhere to accommodate the UEFA Champions Club in the Commonwealth Suite. And I think we can all agree there is an urgent need in Champions League games (but no other games) for an expanded technical area around the home and away dugouts.
It’s also common courtesy for City to provide an allocation of ‘First Class’ seating to the Visiting Club, located between the 16m lines. We wouldn’t want visitors feeling uncomfortable during the match, and I would hope that any supporters forced to move would agree it is for the best. And if you are going to supply padded seats for away team visitors, then you can’t overlook the lovely UEFA family, thus requiring an allocation of ‘First Class’ seats to UEFA and UEFA Champions League Partners.
And what’s more, the global audience demand the best spectacle possible, hence the UEFA requirement for an expanded television and media commentary area and the inconvenient positioning of the reverse-angle television camera.
You can almost imagine Platini and his group of bodyguards turning up at a game and Showsec security turfing people out of seats before dusting down the seats and placing a fluffy pillow down before assisting the UEFA chief to his seat. Well I can anyway. God bless the UEFA family. They care about the game just as much as you and me, but they really do need the comfiest seats, the best food, 1st class travel, and a man at hand to mop their brow at any time should the temperature be more than a couple of degrees past the optimum.
But perhaps I’m being harsh. After all, UEFA themselves have stated: “We have a clear vision: a united European football family working together to improve enjoyment of the game”
UEFA’s core objectives are, amongst other things to:
• ensure that sporting values always prevail over commercial interests
And the first of their “Eleven values”?
In everything that we do, football must always be the first and most important element that we take into consideration. Football is a game before being a product, a sport before being a market, a show before being a business.
So there you go. Give them a break. And enjoy your new views at the Bayern Munich match.