Two Chelsea fans are making an eight-day journey to the Europa League final


We've all embarked on a long-distance away day, but nothing quite like eight days.

Well, that's the journey that is facing two Chelsea fans as they make an extraordinary excursion to the Europa League final, which was controversially chosen to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Football fans have been left baffled by UEFA's decision to select the far-flung city and the situation has been made to feel all the more illogical with two English teams contesting the match.

As a result, Arsenal have complained about the situation and despite both sides being given an allocation of just 6,000, neither club have been able to sell out their respective batches.

It's been made all the more ridiculous when you consider Henrikh Mkhitaryan has effectively been unable to attend due to his Armenian nationality.

Europa League final

However, amidst all this controversy, the aforementioned Chelsea supporters Jake Ralph, 27, and Kevin Cobb, 59, have taken it in their strides.

Despite the final not taking place until Wednesday, they have already started their remarkable 3,462-mile journey and left their homes in London on Tuesday evening.

With the cheapest flight that ends in Baku coming in at £838 and featuring a detour in Qatar, the father and son duo took the decision to go overland across most of Turkey.

Crazy eight-day trip

They took a flight from London Stansted to Istanbul on Tuesday, before hopping on their final plane to Ankara on Wednesday and then taking an eye-watering 24-hour train to Kars.

From there, they will travel to Tbilisi in Georgia by taxi, before concluding their expedition to Baku by train and having to arrive no less than three days early.

"Flying in and out of Baku was extortionately expensive, especially as Arsenal fans got the jump on us and they didn't have extra-time and penalties," Cobb explained to the Daily Mail.

"But we wanted to make a bit of an adventure out of it, having visited Baku before using Thomas Cook and Chelsea. Last time out in Baku we only got about six hours so didn't get to see a lot — we thought that was a once in a lifetime trip! 


Cheaper travel option

"Fortunately we were able to take the extra time off work but so many of the guys we know that have done 40-plus games this season just haven't been able to make it."

As you would hope, the decision to make such an inconvenient journey has saved them a lot of money and their whopping 24-hour train across Turkey only cost them £25.

"We've saved a lot by doing it this way — with hotels and everything up probably about £500 each. It's a real shame more Chelsea and Arsenal fans won't be able to make it.

"My girlfriend Holly definitely thinks we are bonkers. I'll never find a game harder to get to than this one. That said, I wouldn't have wanted to miss it. 

"This is my 53rd game of the season and 677th game. My dad has probably done twice that amount. This is my 30th European away game."

We have nothing but respect for the duo making such a remarkable trip and we wish them safe travels ahead of Monday. UEFA, however, have some explaining to do.

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