invading performing peacekeeping duties in eastern Ukraine, it has sparked rumours that UEFA will move this year’s Champions League final.
Due to be held in St Petersburg on May 28, the final is the grandest affair in European club football, with sponsors and officials given thousands of tickets, while regular hardworking fans are milked dry on previously cheap flights, hotel rooms and local beer.
Now given their history, UEFA will likely try to stage the final somewhere like Madrid, Milan, Paris, Lisbon, maybe even London. You can see the obvious appeal, stadiums like the Bernabéu, the San Siro, Estádio do Dragão and Wembley are steeped in history and familiar to fans the world over.
But, and we can imagine you know where this is going, we have a better idea.
See there is only one ground we believe UEFA should consider, the estadio del Bernabowl. Home to the world’s greatest team, FC Isle of Man, the Ravens home ground makes perfect sense as the ideal home for club football’s biggest final.
In its lifetime, Wembley has hosted several FA Cup finals, Champions League finals, League Cup finals, even play-off finals. Has it ever hosted a Railway Cup final? No of course not, Junior Cup? Nope. The Bowl however has and what a venue it’s proved to be with history being made from St George’s era of dominance to Ayre United’s first Railway Cup win. Wembley has hosted several massive concerts during its time, but The Bowl had Meatloaf and the Commonwealth Youth Games, so we’re claiming that as a win.
Wembley can host about 90,000 people. But given that most of these will go to major sponsors like the Russian energy firm Gazprom, they won’t need tickets anymore. Equally 90,000 is a tad vulgar, everyone prefers small venues where they can see everything and at 3,000, The Bowl again is just perfect for this. If UEFA was to ask any Ravens fan if they can watch the whole game form wherever they sit or stand and they’ll ask who you are and why you won’t leave them alone. But once they’ve been convinced by formal accreditation (and having checked their Landing Card), they’ll confirm that The Bowl offers great views of the entire game.
A big part of the Champions League final is the experience for the fans. Luckily for us, the final falls on May 28, the same day TT22 gets underway. Because of this, not only will they be able to walk along Peel Road, which we’d rename Pele Road (who cares if he played in Europe or not) to watch the game, they can head back into town and celebrate or commiserate the result while drinking delicious Manx beer and listening to questionable Ed Sheeran covers.
There is no beer at The Bowl, which is actually great news for the environment. No beer means no plastic single use bottles or glasses. But fans can enjoy a nice cuppa, Bovril or soup while chomping down on a delicious hot dog, all consumed from combustible, sustainable, cups and bowls.
Once they get here, aboard the Ben or Manannan obviously, fans will be able to either find a hotel room, book a night at one of the island’s brilliant TT campsites or just spend the night wandering the streets of Douglas and taking selfies with the Bee Gees statue. No matter how they spend their time, they’ll be giving the local tourist and hospitality sector a major boost.
Finally, just imagine a local band blaring out this banger: