Chronicles

St James’ Park available as calls for UEFA to switch the all-English Champions League final to the UK are made

Boris Johnson has urged UEFA to switch the Champions League final to the UK, but with Wembley unavailable due to the EFL playoffs, St. James’ Park could be in the frame.

That is the claim in the Sun, which also carries quotes from the Prime Minister claiming he wants the final to be relocated.

On a visit to Hartlepool Prime Minister Johnson told SunSport: “The Champions League is the pinnacle of European club football.

“And with two English teams in the final, it would be a great shame if fans were unable to attend.

“It would be brilliant to host it here if we can. I want to help supporters of both clubs see their team in action.”

Istanbul is set to host the 2021 final between Manchester City and Chelsea, having originally been slated to host the 2020 final before Covid hit, but question marks over it’s suitabilty are now being raised.

Turkey is on the UK’s Covid ‘red list’, meaning supporters travelling to Istanbul to watch the game face ten days’ costly hotel quarantine on return from the country after the final on Saturday May 29.

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium is expected to be one-third full meaning around 25,000 spectators will be able to attend with each club expected to be allocated around 4,000 tickets each.

Were the game to switch to the UK around 15,000 fans could attend.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are very open to hosting the final but that’s ultimately for Uefa.

“We already have a successful record of matches with spectators and given two English clubs are in that final we look forward to hearing what Uefa say.”

UEFA had been offered the use of St. James Park for the Euros by the FA and, as one of the largest UK football stadiums outside London and Manchester, a switch from Istanbul to the North East could make sense.

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