Snouts it the trough! seems an apt a phrase as any to launch what will ultimately be a cul de sac of a bleat. You guessed it. The pricing of Champions League Final tickets.
You didn’t need psychic powers to predict that anything remotely connected with Wembley was going to require articulated lorries to move the mountainous piles of cold hard cash from the grasping digits of the semi literate automatons to the bottomless pit of avarice that is the FA.
The great unwashed recidivist punters were just recovering from having their wallets interfered with by FIFA. The credit cards were starting to see more than the minimum payments. Now that all too familiar, sultry voice is whispering, ‘bend over…’again.
I’m not a Communist. I love the money in the game, I love sneering at the gormless Rugbyites, ‘yeah, but that’s free to air, isn’t it?‘ But at what point does it dawn on the movers and shakers that there isn’t any more to take? Even the most profligate Medeval Lords worked out that if you taxed the very last pube out of the drones that turned the corn into bread, raised the livestock etc you eventually hit a point marked ‘TILT.’
The cost of the tickets is tough enough, but I understand that it’s 2011 and as I occasionally have to break gently to my old man, you can no longer do a double feature at the Picture House, get a bag of broken biscuits, a copy of The Wizard and a tram ride home for 2d. I get that.
And I think I’m relatively down with the kids. I grasp the concept of free will. I know can buy a coat for £10 from a supermarket or I can drop £1000 on one in a boutique. I get that. No one’s forcing me to get financially hurt. But it’s the utterly sinister nature of this UEFA deal that gets my goat.
An ‘administration’ fee of £26. No, unusually for this blog, that’s not a typo. £26.
Okay. okay. I know that I can buy a pizza with a world of toppings on it for what, £4 tops down the shops. But that’s ‘hunter gatherer’ territory. I have to go to the shop. I have to come home again. Carrying the damn thing. I have to put the oven on. I have to wait for it to heat up. I have to put the pizza in. I have to take the blessed thing out before it turns into a carbon disc.
My alternative is to pick up my phone and dribble, ‘I wanna pizza’ to some extremely polite Iranian gentleman who will deliver a piping hot, uber delicious box of top notch stodge plus a small tub of garlic flavoured emulsion and a not to be sold separately litre bottleof fizz.I get charged £15 for this.
But it’s all about me having to actually do naff all. He knows and I know that the FREE DELIVERY plastered across the top of his menu is a swizz. But he knows and I know that I’m the one sipping beer since noon and he’s the one lovingly sculpting a sweaty, sweet savoury, cheesy, nutritional orgasm in a flat packed box especially for me. Using the finest ingredients. Not that muck Chicago Frown sweeps up off the floor and scatters randomly on some tasteless timed expired dough.
What are UEFA doing for me? At this rate they’re pretty much guaranteeing I look back on ordering an innocent takeaway as a brief era in my life when I went off the rails and thought I was Elton John. But with hopefully less fresh cut flowers – and err… less bumming.
How long will I be on the phone ordering my ticket? My guess is less than 1 minute. This isn’t as complex as ordering a pizza. Or flowers. Or indeed organising someone to pop round and bum you. One would imagine.
‘Can I have a Cat 2 seat please?’
‘One moment… yes. £251 in total. Can I have your card details please?’
Wallop. You’re golden. You sir, are a winner in the game of life. Twenty six quid for taking a call, putting your details into a computer and sticking a ticket into an envelope. A profit margin like no other.
But beyond this Through The Looking Glass moment, there’s where the rest of the tickets are going… Sorry, you didn’t think the place was going to be full of fans did you? Ah, bless.
Each club side gets 25,000 tickets. That must be very close to £50,000. So that leaves 36,000 tickets unaccounted for. Eh? Let me introduce you to…‘European football family, including UEFA, the local organising committee, national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters.’ All 36,000 of ’em.
Anyone care to flesh this one out for me? Just who are these cads? I have a mental picture. A selection of corpulent corporate slugs. A gang of charmless functionites who may as well be at the Opera but at least at Wembley you don’t get some stuffy lesbian threatening to call the naffin’ cops if you check your Blackberry.
As I opened, I’ll close. This is all whistling down the wind.
I want to be there and so do you. We’re all riddled with desire. Our love held hostage. Like anyone buying drugs, we don’t really focus too deeply upon the person flogging them. They have want we want and if we don’t cough up then we don’t get it.