Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore says he will meet with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, with Champions League final ticket issues to be high on the agenda.
The Reds are preparing for a second European Cup final in a row, but rows over UEFA’s ticket allocation have cast a shadow over next week’s showpiece event in Madrid.
Both Liverpool and Tottenham were issued just 16,613 tickets, despite the venue, Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium, boasting a capacity of 68,000.
That means many Reds fans were left disappointed having missed out in a heavily-subscribed supporter ballot, and has led to tickets being re-sold on the black market at vastly-inflated prices.
This week it emerged that Liverpool were investigating five supporters who have listed tickets for sale through unauthorised platforms. The club have already vowed that any supporter found guilty of touting could face an indefinite ban from Anfield.
Speaking on Thursday, Moore revealed he would be discussing such issues with Ceferin, who so far has remained silent on the issue of ticketing for the June 1 final.
“We talk to UEFA every day,” he said. “We have been talking to UEFA for 40 years as you well know. But we do want UEFA to understand this city, which they do.
“Ceferin was here last year for the Manchester City home game and I spent a lot of time with him. I will see him next week.
“Today our football club is focused on helping our supporters everywhere. It was about getting the M&S Bank Arena all done and sorted [for a fan screening of the final] and that was done today. There are a lot of logistics involved there.
“Then we are getting our fan park ready in Madrid - our team is right there now, helping supporters.
“I will see him [Ceferin] and usually when I see Alek there are 20-things [to talk about] and it is all the things that you think: what do we do for allocations, what do we do for this? All of the normal stuff. It is a long list.
“The good news is we are going to a Champions League final but there is a lot of work to do to make it work.”
Moore was speaking at a press conference to announce a new global partnership between the Liverpool FC Foundation and Right to Play, an organisation that protects, educates and empowers children and young people by harnessing the power of sport and play.
Between them, they hope to raise around £1 million, which will initially be used to fund sports-led programmes in Thailand and on Merseyside.
Moore believes the partnership comes at a time when Liverpool’s profile is as big as it has ever been. The eyes of the world will be on the forthcoming Champions League final, while the presence of star names such as Jurgen Klopp, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah enables the club to reach all corners of the globe.
“Success on the pitch helps enormously,” he said. “It provides a global spotlight. What we’re about to do next week amplifies that again.
“These players, and this club, is more loved than ever. It’s the way you play, the way we hold ourselves, our manager in particular, and the players, who let me tell you are educated from the moment they walk through the door.
“They know who Kenny Dalglish is, they know who Ian Rush is, they know all about Hillsborough and Heysel.
“Three weeks ago, Margaret Aspinall [chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group] sat them all down at the training ground and talked them through what Hillsborough was all about.
“Margaret spoke for the 30th anniversary. She told them about James not coming home, and to hear it from a mother and someone as powerful a speaker, it reinforces it.
“Playing for Liverpool has responsibilities, and wearing the badge on that field is about more than just playing well. You’re carrying people on your shoulders.”
Moore went on to point out the work Mane, for example, has done in helping the fight against AIDS in Senegal and Malawi, and the way Salah recently spoke out backing women’s rights.
“Mohamed realises that he has a platform and a voice, and people love him and listen to him,” he added. “He realises his responsibility. He has a window of time to do something, in a time when this world is being torn apart in some places by populism and nationalism.
“Mo does it, we love having Jordan around, we have Xherdan Shaqiri as a Kosovan-Albanian, we have three Muslims in the team [Salah, Mane and Naby Keita]. So we have this amazing soup of players, a forward line from Senegal, Egypt and Brazil. When I was a lad it was exotic if they were from Wales!
“It’s brilliant, and the manager makes it all come together. They all understand what it means to play for Liverpool.”