UEFA to consider planning for finals

June 5, 2007

UEFA are to use English expertise to try to avoid the problems encountered with Liverpool and Manchester United fans in the Champions League this season.

A working party will be set up by UEFA to look into suitable venues for major European finals and sports minister Richard Caborn has offered them help from the Football Licensing Authority, the body set up in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster.

Caborn met UEFA president Michel Platini in Brussels this morning where he was given their report on the problems caused by ticketless fans at last month's final against AC Milan.

The reports says there have been 25 incidents involving Liverpool fans away from home since 2003 and most away supporters do not cause any trouble at all.

Caborn said: 'We want to learn from the past and make sure we can have safe grounds for supporters.

'I suggested they set up a working party, which was well-received by Mr Platini, and I have offered the expertise of the Football Licensing Authority who are respected on a worldwide basis.

'They will be looking at major European finals and I hope they can start setting some standards for clubs entering the competitions that they have to meet certain criteria.

'It was a very useful and constructive meeting with Michel Platini and he wants to make sure we do not have a repeat of events in Athens.'

Liverpool have been furious at UEFA's criticism of their fans in the report.

Reds skipper Steven Gerrard claims his friends and family who went to the final in Athens found the organisation lacking.

Gerrard said: 'It upsets me because we've travelled everywhere together for the six or seven years I've been in the first team.

'From what I've seen their behaviour has been fantastic. I had friends and family at the final. Their opinion was that the organisation wasn't good enough.

'But as far as I'm concerned the European Cup final has got to be in a bigger stadium with better organisation.

'Our set-up wasn't good enough either. Our hotel facilities weren't good enough.'