Brentford and Swansea win their bid for a larger capacity at Championship play-off final with both sides granted an extra 1,000 tickets at Wembley after clubs slammed ‘unjustifiable’ decision to cap limit of fans at 10,000
- Brentford and Swansea have claimed a victory in battle over play-off final tickets
- Both clubs had hit out at the decision to limit capacity to just 10,000 supporters
- Now they will be allowed to offer an additional 1,000 tickets at Wembley
Brentford and Swansea have been handed an extra 1,000 tickets each for Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Having failed to persuade the Government to use the game and its League One and Two counterparts as pilot events, the English Football League has secured an increased capacity of 12,000 for the second tier showdown as part of an NHS app trial.
An EFL spokesperson said: ‘Having moved our play-off schedule to align with the Government’s move to Step 3 protocols and enable fans to attend, we look forward to welcoming supporters back to Wembley at the eagerly anticipated Sky Bet EFL play-off Finals, after a season behind closed doors.
Brentford and Swansea have won their appeal for more fans to be let in for Championship play-off final at Wembley – with 1,000 extra tickets now available
The two second-tier sides (pictured in action in January) were disappointed with crowd limits
‘While the small increase in the Championship Final is welcome, we would of course have preferred to admit fans in much greater numbers, but like other public events are subject to the Government’s Step 3 guidance.
‘Unfortunately, the play-offs were not selected to operate as a pilot event as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme – despite a request from the EFL on behalf of the clubs involved and their supporters – which meant that achieving significantly greater capacities at all three Finals was not possible.
‘The EFL shares the disappointment of the clubs and their supporters that many fans will be absent but we will continue to liaise with the Government in the coming weeks as we pursue our aspiration of a return to full stadia for the start of next season.’
The increased allocation will mean almost 85 per cent – or 10,000 – of the available tickets will go to supporters of the two Championship clubs, and 80 per cent of the 10,000 capacity for the League One and Two finals, greater proportions than in pre-Covid days.
Brentford previously said limiting the capacity to 10,000 was ‘incredulous and unjustifiable’
Remaining tickets will be split between Club Wembley, event organisers and sponsors.
Both sides were furious with the cap on spectators, considering the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester was seen by 21,000 at Wembley.
Brentford chief Jon Varney said the club found it ‘incredulous and injustifiable’ that the game was set to be limited to 10,000 fans in line with Covid protocols.
‘We feel it is unjust that only a few days ago, more than 20,000 fans were admitted to the FA Cup final and advanced discussions were taking place for Wembley to host the Champions League final with a similar number of fans attending.
‘We find it incredulous and unjustifiable that the Championship play-off final will be restricted to just half that number.
Swansea called the decision ‘unfair’ after 21,000 spectators were allowed at the FA Cup final
‘The 12 Sky Bet play-off semi-finalists joined together last week to plead for an increased capacity, but to no avail. We want to make one last call for something to be done to allow more fans in.’
Fans had launched a petition against the terms of the existing arrangement, with both clubs previously set to have 4,000 supporters each cheering them on towards a place in the Premier League.
Swansea chief executive Julian Winter described the allocation as ‘unfair’, adding: ‘The FA Cup final recently hosted over 20,000 spectators which helped generate a fantastic atmosphere for both teams – something which has been sorely missed over the past 14 months.
‘Supporters are the lifeblood of the game we all love, and it is such a shame that more of them cannot be at Wembley to cheer on their team in what will be a brilliant occasion for all those clubs involved in the play-off final weekend.’