Bayern Munich look set to continue their manner of showing the rest of Europe how it’s done by shelling out £75,000 to subsidise the cost of tickets for their fans’ trip to the Emirates Stadium when they take on Arsenal in the Champions League last 16.
As part of a project to thank fans for their support during last year’s record-breaking season, the current European Cup holders will pay a proportion of each ticket when they travel to London for the first leg on February 19.
With Arsenal setting the price for tickets at £62 (€75) each, Bayern will pay £24.60 (€30) for every fan that makes the journey. Given their allocation for the fixture, which is a rematch of last year’s encounter at the same stage, was 2,974, the Bavarian club received more than 18,000 applications for a ticket.
In response, the club posted a messaged on their official website explaining the decision to give something back to the supporters for their continuous loyalty.
“For the 2,974 tickets made available by Arsenal, we have received 18,000 orders. The ticket price asked by Arsenal is £62 (€75) each,” the message explained.
“The terrific support of the fans lifted Bayern (last year). Particularly noteworthy is the large number of Bayern fans who not only supported the highlights, but were at every game.
“The fact is that this loyalty at such a high number of games does not only take up a great deal of time, but it also tears a big hole in the wallet.
“Bayern has therefore decided to subsidise the tickets for the away game at Arsenal with nearly €90,000.
“Thus every Bayern fan who buys a ticket for the game in London on February 19 will pay only €45 (instead of the regular €75).
“This is intended as a small thank you for your great support in 2013.”
Fans will be hoping for a repeat performance from their last trip to London, having won the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium thanks to a 2-1 victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund.
They also triumphed on their last trip to the Emirates, with the 3-1 win over the Gunners giving them enough to progress in the last 16 despite a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the return fixture at the Allianz Arena.
The gesture indicates the latest move to give something back to the fans – something that German football has proven itself to lead the way in – with cheaper ticket prices at the fore of the generosity.
Tickets for this season’s second leg are priced between £12-£50, and fans could get their hands on a season ticket from as little as £104 at the beginning of the season – something that is unheard of for the leading clubs in the Premier League.
Club president Uli Hoeness said: “We could charge more than £104. Let's say we charged £300. We'd get £2million more in income but what's £2m to us?
“In a transfer discussion you argue about that sum for five minutes. But the difference between £104 and £300 is huge for the fan.
“We do not think the fans are like cows, who you milk. Football has got to be for everybody.
“That's the biggest difference between us and England.”