Be a Premier venue for the European footy finals

Four English giants battle for Europe’s major trophies

The two European finals being contested by four Premier League clubs is unique in footballing terms, and it might just be an unprecedented opportunity for pubs and clubs too.

For not only will you have the chance to fill your place with fans from these shores on Wednesday (May 29) for the Europa League Final, you can do it all again on Saturday June 1 when Liverpool and Spurs meet in Madrid.

Both matches are live on BT Sport. They offer huge prizes, guaranteed drama and a chance to attract a big crowd to your business.

Here’s a reminder of what’s coming up and a few ideas on how you could make the most of those two final massive European nights of the season.

Champions League Final

Who: Spurs vs Liverpool

When: Saturday June 1, 8pm

Where: Madrid

On: BT Sport 2 from 6pm

Pub Quiz question: When was the last all-English Champions League Final?*

If these two sides can reproduce anything like the drama of their Champions League semi-finals then we could be in line for the greatest final of them all.

Both sides overcame the odds to knockout Barcelona and Ajax to book their place in Madrid.

For Liverpool it is a chance to put right what went wrong when they lost to Real 3-1 12 months ago. If they do, they will have to find room for a sixth European Cup/Champions League trophy in the cabinet at Anfield.

For Spurs, this is unchartered territory and a first Champions League Final appearance, something that looked incredibly unlikely after taking just one point from their first three group matches.

We watched the first of those games (a 2-1 defeat at Inter Milan) in The Beehive pub. That night, potentially ironically, also saw Liverpool win their opening game.

Licensee Alex Marsh is hoping the campaign doesn’t end in the same manner. He is heading to Madrid but will be keeping an eye on the pub from afar.

He says: “It’s going to be one heck of a party although personally I’ll be missing it. The interest in watching the match at the pub has been incredible so far.”

The pub will be investing in more staff and screens for the event but have resisted the temptation to ticket it.

Alex adds: “We are doing everything we can to ensure we can offer as many people the best viewing experience possible, from their view of the screen through to speed of service at the bar.”

Some 200 or so miles up the road, The Queens at Aintree will be offering a similar service to its customers, albeit with most of them hoping for a different result.

Manager Steve Moore says: “We have a lot of Liverpool fans so it will be a big night in the pub.”

It will be even more special for four competition winners, as Steve explains:

We offered a prize for a VIP table. So, they will have a prime viewing spot, an ice-bucket of beer and waiter service all night.”

The pub will be decked out in red, and Steve hopes that the final will be comparable to another huge event that takes place down the road at Aintree race course every year.

He adds: “The Grand National is huge for us and I say to the people working that day, if you can handle this you can handle anything.”

Which means they should be well prepared for June 1.

Don’t forget that earlier that day we will also be showing the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final from Twickenham, so you can make a day of it before switching to the Champions League Final later that night.   

*2008, Man Utd vs Chelsea

Europa League Final

Who: Chelsea vs Arsenal

When: Wednesday May 29, 8pm

On: BT Sport 2, from 6.30pm

Where: Baku

Pub Quiz question: Five English teams have won the Europa League/UEFA Cup. Can you name them all?*

The fact that two London clubs will be competing in a final some 3,000 miles away has led to one or two raised eyebrows, but it could inadvertently be good news for the pub trade.

The difficulty in travel and the lack of tickets available means that many fans will be staying at home and looking to create atmosphere in the on-trade rather than heading to Azerbaijan.

It has certainly not been detrimental to business at Arsenal pub the Tollington Arms. They sold 500 tickets to watch the final at the pub within hours of putting them up for sale.

Licensee Martin Whelan explains: “We wanted to make sure that the football fans who watch Arsenal in here week in, week out had the chance to be here for the final.

We have had so much interest from Arsenal fans around the world and we even have a German TV crew coming down on the night.”

It is a massive game for both clubs. For the North Londoners it is a chance to win a European trophy and qualify for next year’s Champions League. Chelsea can pick up a pot and stop their London rivals playing in next year’s premier competition.

Martin adds: “The Europa League has been better and better for the pub as we got into the knockout stages but we really need to be back in the Champions League next year.”

*Liverpool (3), Spurs (2), Chelsea, Man Utd, Ipswich Town

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