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Law firm representing Liverpool supporters echoes disbelief in vilification of fans at Champion’s League Final

Lawyers investigating claims against UEFA on behalf of hundreds of Liverpool FC fans have shared their shock at claims by the Guardian that UEFA pre-prepared a statement blaming “late” fans for causing the delay to the start of the Champions League final a “considerable time” before the day of the match.

Posted on 23 September 2022

More than 400 Liverpool fans have registered their interest with Leigh Day to join the Stade de France group claim against UEFA.

Clients include those who have reported being crushed, tear-gassed and left in fear for their lives before the 2022 the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 28.

This week The Guardian produced a series of articles taking an in-depth look at what went wrong.

As well as the revelations regarding UEFA’s pre-prepared statements journalist David Conn also reported:

  • Police directed Liverpool supporters to a ticket checkpoint using an alternative route which involved thousands of people being funnelled through a narrow subway under the A1 motorway. It had been a known hazard since 2016.
  • Conditions were made worse by police parking vans, forming a pincer underneath the bridge. It emerged later that this was an anti-terrorist measure, to prevent car ramming attacks.
  • Two official reports in France have severely criticised the police operation but not substantially contested the claims of “industrial scale” ticket fraud.
  • Liverpool FC and its supporters have called for a full, independent inquiry, to establish the truth and learn lessons so that future disasters can be avoided.
  • Liverpool FC said it had sent testimonials from 8,500 supporters to UEFA’s “independent review” of the near disaster.

Jill Paterson, partner at law firm Leigh Day who is investigating the claim alongside partner Clare Campbell, said: “Thousands of people spent their hard-earned money on tickets and travel to what should have been a world-class event. Their safety should have been guaranteed, that is what they paid for as part of their ticket – a well-run event with all the necessary safety and security protocols and resources in place.

“This wasn’t the first event of its kind, UEFA have been running Champions League finals for decades. There is no excuse for the chaos and trauma that unfolded.

“Some are people who were previously affected by the Hillsborough disaster. They report panic attacks, anxiety, sleepless nights, flashbacks and fears for their safety at future matches. We have also heard from people who suffered broken bones and bruising.

“We were approached by one Liverpool fan almost immediately after the event and we have been looking into this since then and liaising with French lawyers to build a strong case to try and get some redress for the fans.

“While we were shocked to hear the reports by the Guardian that UEFA seemed prepared to blame Liverpool FC fans for any issues from the outset, sadly most of the other information uncovered confirms what we have heard from our clients about the terrible events of that night.”

Stade de France claim