Major backers like Just Eat, PlayStation and Heineken have been listening to graphic tales of how some of their own corporate guests were caught up in the mayhem before and after the game at the Stade de France in Paris eight days ago.
As well as being tear-gassed by French police some were mugged by local youths while attempting to make their way back to their VIP coaches – a number of which had been damaged.
The catalogue of complaints has piled the pressure on UEFA to see a no-holds-barred report emerge from the investigation being led independently by the former Portuguese education minister Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues.
If guarantees over their safety at further events are not received – or there is perceived to be any sort of cover-up of the sickening events on May 28 – then some sponsors could withdraw their monetary support leaving UEFA with a huge financial hole to fill.
Club officials from both Liverpool and Real Madrid have already been dismayed by the French authorities’ attempts to blame ‘fans arriving late’ and their claims of 40,000 fake tickets circulating.
Reds legends such as the 1981 European Cup hero Alan Kennedy and Jason McAteer were caught up in the traumatic scenes, and the club has appealed for witness statements. UEFA apologised to supporters on Friday and said the situation “must not happen again”.
“UEFA wishes to sincerely apologise to all spectators who had to experience or witness frightening and distressing events in the build-up to the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France on 28 May 2022 in Paris, on a night which should have been a celebration of European club football,” read a statement.
“No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again. To that end, immediately after the events, UEFA commissioned an Independent Review to identify shortcomings and responsibilities of all entities involved in the organisation of the final, and has today published the Terms of Reference for this review.
“The Independent Review… aims at understanding what happened in the build-up to the final, and determining what lessons should be learned to ensure there is no repeat of the actions and events of that day.
“The Review will seek to establish a full picture and timeline of what occurred during the day, both within the stadium and the surrounding areas, including examining spectator flows to the stadium via the various access points… Once completed, the Report will be published by UEFA on www.uefa.com in the interests of transparency.”