Man City owner Sheikh Mansour has announced he will cover the costs of the club’s official fans’ trip to the Champions League final.
City will face Chelsea in the showpiece event on May 29 in Porto with both clubs given 6,000 tickets.
The game was due to be played at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, but has been moved by UEFA after the UK government placed the country on its ‘red list’.
There were initial talks about holding the final at Wembley Stadium, but the sticking point was over quarantine exemptions for the 2,000 staff, sponsors, VIPs and foreign media that would be travelling in for the game.
The decision was made to hold it in Portugal, which is on the approved travel list.
The 12,000 supporters that have tickets for the game will have to fly in and out on the same day and remain in a ‘bubble’ while visiting.
And, due to the strict conditions over fans’ visit, the City owner has decided to pay the cost of their travel to and from Portugal.
Supporters will now be offered a place on the club’s official trip to Porto when they purchase their tickets.
Travel to and from Portugal will take place within a 24-hour period, as a Portuguese government minister had said would need to be the case last week.
A City statement read: “Cognisant of how the pandemic has affected all Manchester City supporters and has created an increase in travel costs, Sheikh Mansour has sought to remove the most significant financial barrier to fans attending the final.
“The COVID inflated costs, combined with necessary but expensive PCR testing, would have rendered the trip to the final unmanageable for many of those supporters lucky enough to qualify for a ticket.
“Due to the necessary COVID related restrictions in place, the majority of fans wishing to attend the historic first final for the Club, are required to do so within a 24-hour trip, meaning that His Highness’ initiative will fund the transport of several thousand City fans on the official travel package on the day of the final.”
Sheikh Mansour said: “Pep and the team have had such a remarkable season and their reaching the Champions League Final after a very challenging year represents a truly historic moment for the Club.
“It is therefore incredibly important that as many fans as possible have the opportunity to attend this special game. Especially those who have supported Manchester City through good and bad times for so many years.”