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Manchester City have announced that His Highness Sheikh Mansour will pay for the flight and transfer costs for the English Premier League champions’ official trip to the Champions League Final in Porto at the end of the month, as Pep Guardiola’s men go in search of an elusive European Cup against Chelsea.
The move means thousands of City supporters who have been fortunate to get their hands on a ticket through the club as part of the ‘Official Club Trip’ will benefit from the initiative.
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With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in inflated prices for flights to Portugal from England, Sheikh Mansour has decided to step in and help ease the costs for supporters and 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,” a statement on the City website said.
“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.”
Speaking about the initiative, 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.”
City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak added: “The challenges faced by supporters ahead of this final are multiple, both in financial and logistical terms. Hopefully His Highness’ initiative allows the majority of our attending fans to focus on enjoying the day rather than worrying about how to bear the burden of travel costs which have become all the more onerous due to the effects of the pandemic.”