In a dramatic penalty shootout, Glasgow Rangers on Thursday won their UEFA Cup semi-final tie with Fiorentina. Rangers will meet Zenit St Petersburg, who stunned Bayern Munich, in the UEFA Cup final on May 14 at the City of Manchester stadium. The final will be Rangers first since defeating Moscow Dynamo to win the Cup-Winners’ Cup back in 1972.
More than 100,000 Rangers fans are expected to descend on Manchester for the Uefa Cup final with the scramble for tickets already sending prices soaring. So it was bad news for Rangers fans when Zenit St Petersburg announced that they would be taking their full allocation of tickets (13,000) meant that Rangers fans will have to scramble to get tickets now.
Tickets with a face value of between £35 and £75 are selling on the internet for over £1,500, but with the club only being allocated 13,000, the desperation to get hold of one will be intense.
Despite pleas by Greater Manchester Police not to travel without tickets, official supporters’ clubs say nothing will stop them heading down south to enjoy “the biggest party ever”. Jim Templeton, president of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, said: “I would be very surprised if there is not in excess of 100,000 supporters. Who won’t be tempted into going if it’s only a three-hour glide down the road?”
Vice-president Andy Kerr, 51, of Spofforth near Harrogate, said: “These tickets are like gold dust. I know someone in Australia who is already booking flights even though they haven’t got a ticket. No matter how robust the messages are about not traveling without tickets you know people have already made up their minds. I have heard it from many people who just want to be part of the atmosphere and want to be as close to the action as they possibly can. I hope it does not come to the stage where it creates difficulty for the people down there trying to organize the event.”