With calls growing for the Champions League final to be switched from Istanbul to London, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has come up with his own unique solution – proposing to play the final on his new luxury one billion dollar yacht ‘Eclipse’.
As soon as the final whistle went at Stamford Bridge on a 2-0 (3-1 aggregate) victory for his side against Real Madrid last night, Abramovich immediately sent an email to Čeferin explaining he would be looking to stage the game as he was having a full-sized football pitch installed on the vessel, which would allow Chelsea to play their home matches away from The Bridge if they ever get permission to start redeveloping the old ground.
There will be enough places inside Roman’s on-board stadium to house 100 Blues fans with the billionaire businessman also prepared to give Manchester City 50% of the current capacity.
Abramovich’s offer comes after the leak of a secret UEFA dossier in which it was revealed that they were only going to allow that amount of “proper fans” into the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul anyway, declaring the other 30,000 seats were going to be made available for the ‘UEFA footballing family’.
Much has been made of the controversial choice of venue for this year’s showpiece event, with some Liverpool fans still trying to get back to the centre of Istanbul following their dramatic win over AC Milan in 2005.
But Abramovich’s plan would eradicate any major travel problems as he is understood to have already got permission from Chelsea Harbour to dock the ship there for the May 29th showdown.
Manchester City are understood to be looking at the possibility to try to get the game switched from the capital to the Manchester Ship Canal, although health and safety officials are concerned Abramovich’s luxury new toy would probably end up breaching if it tried to get anywhere near Salford Quays.
Manager Pep Guardiola has spelt out his opposition to club execs after suffering seasickness when he was with his kids on a pedalo on the Serpentine in Hyde Park a couple of years ago.
Supporters have been asking why Wembley Stadium can’t be used as the venue, but the Championship play-off final is already booked in and the EFL have stated that they would not be prepared to reschedule their showpiece event to accommodate clubs that were prepared to ‘s**t on us from a great height only three weeks ago’.
UEFA have been unavailable for a comment, although one representative broke their silence, saying their boss arrived for work with a ‘face like thunder, immediately telling all his staff to hold his calls whilst he held a Teams meeting with some of his friends in Paris.’
Another UEFA official branded the Abramovich yacht idea ‘totally ludicrous’, declaring, ‘what next, a Champions League final on the moon?’ although many Liverpool fans would argue that is quicker to get back from than the Ataturk Stadium.
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