Will there be a parade if Chelsea win the Europa League?
- September 11, 2019
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Fans of Maurizio Sarri’s men are likely to be underwhelmed with the club’s plans for any potential celebration
Chelsea go chasing more European glory when they tackle Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
UEFA’s choice of venue in Azerbaijan has been a controversial one, with the two clubs believed to have sold only around half of their 6,000 tickets each.
For Chelsea supporters, who have endured a relatively disappointing season, despite securing Champions League football with a third-placed finish in the Premier League, there have been recent European triumphs to reflect upon, notably the European Cup win in 2011-12 and the Europa League success that followed it 12 months later.
This is a club that has grown used to winning major titles, but supporters are nevertheless likely to be disappointed with the club’s reticence to celebrate any triumph in Baku.
Indeed, there has been no suggestion of a victory parade should they come away from Azerbaijan victorious, which is likely to irk supporters who have already been critical of the club’s handling of ticketing affairs for the event.
“We are extremely disappointed that Chelsea FC have been unable or unwilling to help Chelsea supporters overcome the travel, expense and logistics in order for them to support the team in a European final,” a statement from the Chelsea Supporters Trust said prior to the match.
The club were forced to respond with a statement defending their position.
“We sympathise with the problems our supporters face organising travel to Azerbaijan for the game, and would like to reassure fans that alongside Arsenal and our travel partners at Thomas Cook Sport, we have looked at various options to help them get to Baku,” Chelsea said.
“Unfortunately, a number of factors outside the club’s control have made organisation a complicated and challenging process.
“This includes the location of the final being 2,500 miles from London, a lack of available charter aircraft and transport infrastructure which limited the number of flights able to arrive in Baku around the final.”
This is not the first time that the Blues have chosen not to celebrate by parading their silverware through the streets of London.
When they won the FA Cup last season, there was no lap of honour, while the 2017 Premier League title triumph was not marked with such an occasion either, although there had been one planned before the Manchester terror attack.
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Arsenal, meanwhile, have already had plans for a parade confirmed.