The Legia Warsaw Stance on their Restricted Ticket Allocation at Villa Park

Restricted Allocation

Legia Warsaw have this week voiced their frustration (statement below) at the restricted allocation they have received for their visit to Villa Park, in what is potentially a Europa Conference League Group E decider. The normal away allocation is 5% of the stadium capacity, so Warsaw were initially in line for an allocation of 2,100.

Over the last couple of weeks the blame game has kicked in and MOMS has been monitoring the situation and speaking to the relevant parties. Despite the qualms expressed by the Legia Warsaw statement below, it is of course, no surprise that they have had their allocation compromised.

The troubles their away fans caused in the Europa League in Leicester a couple of years ago, were hardly going to go unpunished when they returned to the Midlands. Over 20 police and stewards were injured in and around the King Power that night. There were further trouble at their visit to AZ Alkmaar, so UEFA were always going to back any concerns of both Aston Villa and the local authorities.

Also, despite Villa fans having a great time in Warsaw, where their behaviour was excellent, they didn’t exactly get the red carpet treatment, as the Legia statement makes out. There’s the small matter of a two-hour holdback after the game and the poor communication during that period. When MOMS spoke to Villa at a FAB meeting last week, there was no plans to hold back Legia fans after the game.

The Legia Warsaw supporters were excellent in the game in Warsaw, and it is of course a shame they can not bring more fans to add to atmosphere of the evening. Also, I’m sure Legia Warsaw fans based in England would have loved the chance to see their team at Villa Park. But, it’s not exactly a surprise they’ve had their allocation compromised.

Villa and the police have obviously had one eye on this fixture for a while now and have run trials of certain protocols during both the Luton Town and AZ Alkmaar fixtures. As MOMS as mentioned before, it will be essentially policed like a Villa vs Blues derby.

Misreporting on Situation

It is a surprising to see the Express & Star newspaper report blaming the police 100% for the restriction on Legia fans. This is not true and inaccurate. The safety concerns were also expressed by the club and UEFA, so there are several agencies behind the decision. The action was predictable.

While the club ultimately want to welcome Legia fans to Villa Park, they obviously are informed by events at Leicester City and elsewhere.

For Polish fans crying ‘racism’ on social media, it’s a simple matter of you reap what you sow. At least some of Legia’s supporters can still come to Villa Park. In the past, Villa fans have missed out on European games, because of collective punishment triggered by the actions of a minority of fellow fans (Anderlecht, European Cup semi-final 1982), or were banned from Europe altogether due to the actions of other club’s fans.

Hopefully, this allocation situation won’t sour what should be a good European night at Villa Park.

The Legia Warsaw Statement

In connection with the information of the Aston Villa F.C. club about granting Legia Warsaw fans a limited number of tickets for the UEFA Conference League match, we declare:
According to the UEFA rules, fans of clubs acting as guests are entitled to the number of tickets equal to 5% of the stadium capacity. In the case of matches played at the stadium of the Aston Villa F.C. club, this pool is 2100 tickets. We applied for such a number as Legia Warsaw.
In response – on September 11 – we received information that in connection with the recommendation of municipal authorities (the so-called “Safety Advisory Group (SAG)”) Aston Villa FC will give Legia Warsaw only 990 tickets. This decision was motivated by security reasons. We strongly opposed this argument, informing UEFA representatives about the situation. At the same time, we asked for support for the Polish diplomatic side in Great Britain.
We would like to point out that on the occasion of the first match between Legia and Aston Villa F.C., over 2,000 fans of the English club came to Warsaw, while the statutory and awarded number of tickets was 1700 seats. On our part, the fans of the guests could count on full support and care. Before the match, we allocated for Aston Villa F.C. fans dedicated “Ticket Collection Point” at Legia tennis courts, we also pointed out places where visitors can spend time before and during the meeting.
In the course of talks with representatives of Aston Villa F.C., we proposed a compromise solution, according to which our fans would receive 1700 tickets – exactly as much as we allocated for fans of the English club coming to Warsaw. This proposal was adopted on September 21, confirmed during a meeting with the UEFA Delegate and described in the UEFA Security Officer report. A few weeks later, on November 2, the decision on the pool of tickets awarded to Legia was again changed by the British side – this time reduced to 890 tickets.

We immediately implemented a number of activities, conducting talks with representatives of Aston Villa F.C and the British and Polish police – with the significant involvement of the Polish Ambassador in Great Britain, who sent a letter to representatives of the English side. Embassy employees supported our club through talks and diplomatic contacts. On November 13, however, we received responses from Aston Villa F.C and UK Police about the inability to change the number of tickets. Then we sent a letter to UEFA asking for intervention. On November 22 – after our urge – we received a response from the European federation about the inability to take action.
Currently, we have exhausted all formal possibilities regarding the granting of our fans a pool of tickets for the match in Birmingham in accordance with the UEFA regulations. At the same time, we draw attention to the fact that apart from the group going to England from Poland, many Legia fans live in the UK on a daily basis and also declare their willingness to support their team in the guest sector. As a club, we do not agree to any attempts to limit our fans’ ability to move and support the team.
We are convinced that the adoption of the statutory number of fans of guests at the stadium would have a positive impact on the level of safety. We appeal to the authorities of Aston Villa F.C. for an approach in line with the spirit of sports competition and mutual respect.


  1. Legia’s statement it’s not all about the ticket allocation, which is reasonably dished out regarding the behaviour of Legia fans in matches against both Leicester and Alkmaar. Aston Villa told Legia about the reduced ticket allocation within reasonable time.The fans on the other hand, should have behaved in a more professional manner and not throw missiles and flares with intent to hurt villa’s innocent fans and the emergency services who were separating the away supporters as much as the home fans and if the away fans live in the UK then it is their fault that they didn’t get in as they know that hooliganism is taken seriously here nowadays and what they and their club is unprofessional and downright disgusting.It’s not racism because your idiotic and disgraceful behaviour will not go unpunished no matter your race.

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