Manchester City have announced that owner Sheikh Mansourwill fund the travel costs of supporters attending the Champions League final against Chelsea in Porto later this month
6,000 City supporters will be able to attend the club’s first-ever European Cup final at the Estadio do Dragao, which was moved from Istanbul due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Turkey was added to the UK government’s ‘red list’ just days after City and Chelsea confirmed their places in the final, meaning that players, staff and supporters of both clubs would have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on return.
The switch to Portugal, which is on the ‘green list’ of travel destinations, will allow fans of both clubs to attend without having to quarantine on their return, though supporters still have to meet additional costs for Covid-19 tests.
Fans with a ticket for the final will also have to fly in and out of Porto on the day of the game and must remain in a bubble while staying there.
City are offering their supporters an official travel package, the costs of which will be met by Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family who also serves as the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
“Pep and the team have had such a remarkable season and their reaching the Champions League final after a very challenging year represents a truly historic moment for the club,” Mansour said.
“It is therefore incredibly important that as many fans as possible have the opportunity to attend this special game. Especially those who have supported Manchester City through good and bad times for so many years.”
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, City’s chairman, said: “The challenges faced by supporters ahead of this final are multiple, both in financial and logistical terms.
“Hopefully [Sheikh Mansour’s] initiative allows the majority of our attending fans to focus on enjoying the day rather than worrying about how to bear the burden of travel costs which have become all the more onerous due to the effects of the pandemic.”