Work in Sports
Roundup: Galatasaray denies hiking tickets
Posted: Thursday May 11, 2000 08:16 PM
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- Galatasaray on Thursday denied reports that it had hiked ticket prices for next week's UEFA Cup final against Arsenal to price out potential troublemakers.
"That is ridiculous," Galatasaray secretary general Sinan Kalpakcioglu said. "Our supporters are not troublemakers. We don't need to do such a thing."
Tensions are high before the May 17 game in Copenhagen following the stabbing death of two English fans in Istanbul last month before Galatasaray's semifinal first leg against Leeds.
Arsenal has warned of the possibility of a small number of English fans traveling to the Copenhagen to carry out revenge attacks on Turkish fans.
Reports in British newspapers Thursday said Galatasaray had hiked ticket prices to five times their face value to make sure potential troublemakers don't go to the game, and that UEFA would investigate.
But Kalpakcioglu said the reports stem from Galatasaray's practice of accepting "voluntary donations" from fans buying tickets to help support the team's stadium and other sporting activities. The tickets themselves are being sold at face value, he said.
"We are not a soccer club, we are a sports club with 44 other activities to support," Kalpakcioglu said.
He said UEFA had questioned the practice and that Galatasaray had prepared a detailed report.
"This is not new, it is not specific to Copenhagen, and it is all legal and above board," Kalpakcioglu said.
Galatasaray sold all of the 12,000 tickets it was allocated a day after they were issued, he added.
The two clubs agreed on a 12,000 quota for each side. Another 3,000 tickets were sold to fans in other European countries and 9,000 tickets were sold in Denmark. The remaining 3,000 tickets were allotted to UEFA to give to other European soccer associations and business partners.
Arsenal official calls for 'carnival atmosphere'
A top Arsenal official says Wednesday's UEFA Cup final in Copenhagen against Turkey's Galatasaray, threatened with violence, should be played in a "carnival atmosphere."
Arsenal vice chairman David Dein said club officials had met with Danish and Turkish officials and had identified a "small minority" of English hooligans planning to travel to Denmark.
Officials fear an outbreak of violence at the match after two English fans were stabbed to death last month on the eve of Leeds' first-leg semifinal in Istanbul against Galatasaray.
"Nobody can ever underestimate the question of human life," Dein said. "As a club, we are very concerned and have done everything we possibly can."
"Everybody concerned has been involved to try to make sure that it's a happy and peaceful occasion, a carnival atmosphere."
"Of course the English police, as indeed the Turkish police are, are well aware of who are the wrong sort of elements, and I'm sure every precaution will be taken."
Newcastle warns Galatasaray Robson not available
Newcastle United on Thursday told UEFA Cup finalist Galatasaray not to waste its time trying to lure manager Bobby Robson away from St. James' Park.
Amid reports that the Turkish champion was prepared to offer the veteran former England manager 1 million pounds (US$1.5 million) to take charge next season, Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd said Robson was going nowhere.
"There has been no approach from Galatasaray, and they know they're wasting their time ringing us," he said.
"Bobby is doing a great job for us, and nobody appreciates this more than the board. In addition, the players love him and so do the fans. So why would he even think about leaving here?"
Robson, 67-year-old former manager of Ipswich, Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona before returning to England, has been behind an amazing turnaround at Newcastle.
He joined the Magpies barely a month into the season with the team next to last having lost four out of five games.
He quickly pulled the team out of relegation trouble and, going into Sunday's final game of the season at home to Arsenal, the Magpies are 12th in the 20-club standings and have a chance to finish in the top half.
Robson has a rolling, 12-month contract with Newcastle which means he can stay at the club for as long as he wishes.