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Dirty Tackle

Bournemouth set up ‘gift’ friendly with Real Madrid, charge fans through the nose to see it

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Bournemouth's Goldsands Stadium. (Eurosport)

The Carlo Ancelotti era at Real Madrid will begin with a visit to England's south coast for a friendly against newly promoted Championship side Bournemouth on July 21. It's "a well earned gift to our fans for their unwavering dedication," according to Bournemouth's chairman, except of gift of attending this "opportunity for us to put the town of Bournemouth on the map" will cost £60 (£55 for season ticket holders — big savings!) more than double the price of an actual league match ticket this season.

So how did this match come about? Well, like most things, it all comes down to who you know. From Reuters:

Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell told Sky Sports on Tuesday that the match, on July 21, was "down to fate".

"My son was talking to a friend who knows people at Real Madrid and got chatting about a possible exhibition match," said Mitchell. "We've worked hard over the last three or four weeks to finalise things."

Cristiano Ronaldo will be making the trip to Bournemouth, but the players who took part in the Confederations Cup won't be joining him. So that's a large chunk of the first team missing. And yet, Bournemouth still feel like they're doing supporters a favor by charging such high prices for a friendly, even if it is a rare chance to see one of the best clubs in the world at the 10,700-seat Goldsands Stadium.

Mitchell defended the prices, saying: "I think for the club, (the game) is priceless.

"It's showcasing what we can do on a matchday against a special team - some of the world's best players. So, no, I don't think it's too expensive. It's a great opportunity."

Well if it's a priceless gift then why try to put a price on it at all? Surely the Real Madrid players will drop enough valuables in the dressing room to cover the day's costs.

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