Hello, I’m Erica Nochlin and you’re watching Newsy.com.
The final of the UEFA Champions League will be played in Rome on Wednesday and will be watched by an estimated 150 million people worldwide.
The game pits England’s Manchester United against Spanish team Barcelona, two of the biggest names in European soccer.
We’re looking at some off the field issues ahead of kickoff, focusing in on storylines that go beyond the predictions and analysis.CNN
looks at just how much money a run to the final can generate for a club.“Just making the group phase is worth over 5 million Euros, or 7 million dollars. Last year champions Manchester United made 57 million just on prize money from UEFA. According to MasterCard, one of the official Champions League Sponsors, winning the title could be worth nearly $150 million if you add prize money, match ticket sales, commercial gains, and sponsorship income.”
Despite the enormous profits that come with winning, USA Today
reports that Manchester United is still bogged down in over a billion dollars of debt.
The South China Morning Post
takes a closer look at tickets sales, this time from the fans’ perspective. Even with ticket prices approaching 300 dollars a pop, a sports expert from consulting firm Deloitte says sales have not slowed down. “This is the pinnacle of football for European clubs. Fans see it as a one-off situation, they have saved to go to this kind of event. They will continue to spend as if nothing was happening in the economic climate.”
One industry that won’t be making money off the event will be alcohol sellers; Rome has issued a 31-hour blanket ban on alcohol sales throughout the city, in an attempt to curb violence.
With more than 50,000 expected to travel to Rome and a history of bad blood between English and Italian supporters, safety is a concern.
reports that there have been five incidents resulting in the stabbing of 26 English fans while attending games in Rome in the last eight years.
The head of the Manchester United Supporters Club questions the protection Italian police provide foreign visitors.“The Italian policing is terrible. At every Italian away game United fans have gone unprotected and people have been stabbed, beaten up and there’s no protection from Italian police from Italian fans.”
The Daily Mail
echoes these concerns; calling for UEFA to move the game from a place nicknamed ‘Stab City’ by English supporters.“It takes a special kind of idiocy for UEFA to continue pushing Rome as an acceptable venue for this season’s Champions League final.”
The New York Post
took a satirical view of English concern over potential violence from Italian fans, saying…“British fans afraid of hooligans? Say it ain't so. What's the world coming to?”