RANGERS fans will have to shell out exorbitant prices if they want to see their heroes play in the Europa League final in Seville.
Light Blues fans were planning to invade the Spanish city by air, land and sea for the game against Eintracht Frankfurt.
But many have found that travel and accommodation costs have skyrocketed since Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men qualified for the showpiece on Thursday night.
And tickets for the May 18 clash with the German side are whipped online at up to £26,000.
An expert warned fans of the Gers: “Demand is exploding, the main thing is to arrive early and book.”
The Ibrox Legions head to the Andalusian capital 19 years after Celtic lost 3-2 to Porto in the 2003 UEFA Cup final.
Prior to that game, Hoops fans had taunted their Old Firm rivals with the chant: “You’ll be watching The Bill when we’re in Sevilla.”
But it is the bill to get to town and stay there that will worry Gers supporters the most this time around.
With no direct flights between Scotland and Sevilla, fans have to take detours via English airports and further afield.
EasyJet flights from London are already booked three days before match day, while a one-way ticket costs £408. A day later it’s down to just £70.
Comparison site Skyscanner says the quickest route from Glasgow to Seville costs £1,361 for a return flight, while the same journey from Edinburgh will cost £1,253.
Those looking for a cheaper option face a 15-hour journey from Glasgow for £292. The cheapest from Edinburgh, averaging over 22 hours each way, is £114.
Some even plan to do the whole trip by car. The 1,750 mile journey will see them head south through England, the Channel Tunnel and France to southern Spain.
The epic ride would involve around 27 hours of solid riding.
Soaring petrol prices mean the average round trip in an engine will cost around £500.
Meanwhile, some Airbnb hosts in Seville are cashing in by charging up to £4,000 for rooms compared to the usual £50.
Hotels are looking at £600-800 for a single night’s accommodation.
And even a bed in a hostel dorm costs £193 when a week later it’s only £13.
Sean Tipton of The Travel Association said last night: “Demand skyrockets as teams advance to major finals and Rangers are certainly no different.
“The main thing is to arrive early and reserve what you need.
“It’s not just flights, but also bus and train connections.
“You can’t assume you’ll be able to get a place the same day – it might just be full.
“Obviously the best option is to fly into Seville airport, but there are plenty of others that are relatively close.
“Jerez de la Frontera is only an hour away by train but again you need to buy your tickets in advance.
“Similarly, Malaga is a few hours away by train. There are also plenty of buses and accommodations available in this area.
“Seville is a great city and a one week holiday package would also be a good option.
“It’s one of the hottest cities in Spain and it can get around 30°C (86°F) on game day, so sunscreen is a must. Whatever the result, it will be a amazing trip.
ALLOCATION OF TICKETS
Rangers fans face a rush for one of the gold dusted briefs for the final at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, which seats only 43,000 spectators.
The club will receive an official allocation of 10,000 tickets, with 4,000 donated free of charge by UEFA to reward supporters for their loyalty to the sport during the pandemic.
But Rangers have 45,000 subscribers and organizers have cut all corporate hospitality inside the Sevilla stadium.
A black market for briefs is already driving prices to astronomical levels.
Online football agency Livefootball demanded £20,000 plus a £6,000 ‘service charge’ for a Tier 1 ticket, which has a nominal price of £130.
But the bosses of supporters are certain that nothing will deter the true diehards of the Gers. Mark Dingwall, of the fanzine FollowFollow, said: “It’s an incredible achievement to reach the final and I’m sure as many fans as possible will do whatever they can to get to Sevilla.
“We heard of people turning away all over the continent to get the best deal possible while others just talked about jumping in their cars and driving.”
He added: “The atmosphere at Ibrox was sensational on Thursday and I’m sure it will be repeated around Sevilla and at the stadium.”
A fan called Skoosh1872 wrote on the Follow Follow forum: “Back in Manchester at 7am on Thursday. We have to find a way to get back from Sevilla to Malaga right after the game. Another told how he planned to go “from Aberdeen to Madrid via Schiphol on the 17th.
Then train to Sevilla on match day and then take the night bus to Madrid.”
The Ibrox bar in Benidorm, on the Costa del Sol, offers at least one bus to Seville for expats or fans staying there. The journey will take seven hours.
There were unforgettable scenes of celebration at Ibrox as a John Lundstram goal sealed a 3-1 second leg win over RB Leipzig that clinched Rangers’ place in the final.
Some fans were so confident of traveling to Spain that they brought sombreros to the game.
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