Jurgen Klopp insists there is no use worrying about Liverpool's controversial allocation for the Europa League final against Sevilla in Basel on Wednesday 18 May. The three-time winners reached the decisive game courtesy of a 3-0 semi-final second-leg victory over Villarreal on Thursday (5 May), but are only set to receive 10,236 tickets due to the limited 38,512 capacity at St Jakob-Park.
As revealed in a breakdown by the club, 88% of that will be set aside for supporters, with the rest going to match day officials, players, former players and media in addition to commercial partners. Such a paucity of numbers for a club that boasts 27,000 season ticket holders and a full waiting list has attracted anger from many, although the manager believes that fans who cannot attend the match should still travel to the picturesque Swiss town to soak up the atmosphere.
"It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to play this final but we cannot change the stadium so we cannot think about this," Klopp was quoted as saying by BBC Sport at his latest press conference."I have been to Basel one or two times, it is a wonderful stadium and a wonderful city.
"It is even worth going there without having a ticket for the game to be around the stadium and enjoy yourself and enjoy life as a Liverpool supporter. That's what we should do, and not worry or think about the size of the stadium or tickets you can get."
While it is certainly common for fans without tickets to descend upon a city in the build-up to a major final, both Uefa and Liverpool have advised non-matchgoers to avoid St Jakob-Park on the day of the game due to tight security measures and to ensure supporters' safety and well-being.
"Uefa, meanwhile, is aware that many ticketless fans will travel to Basel to support their teams," European football's governing body said in a statement to confirm that tickets had already been printed and sent out to both Liverpool and holders Sevilla. However, we advise anyone without tickets not to approach the stadium on the day of the final as safety and security measures will be very tight. The stadium perimeter will be reinforced in order to guarantee safe and secure entrance for all ticket holders."
Justifying their decision to stage the match in Basel, Uefa explained that capacity is only one factor taken into account and that slightly smaller venues are often selected for the Europa League final in order to "give more of its national associations an opportunity to host a club final and give fans across Europe the chance to experience a major final in their home nation".
They added: "Evidence from the recent finals suggests that stadium capacity and ticket allocation for supporters of the two finalists have been very satisfactory. For those questioning the size of the stadium for this particular final, we would like to note that the number of supporters requesting final tickets varies from club to club, and of course it is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final."