The cost of living crisis is affecting people in many different ways as wallets are tightened and luxuries are ignored for now. However, an avid football fan has decided to offer fans of his beloved club an incredibly generous offer so they can see him in the Champions League final.
Simon Wilson has taken drastic steps to ensure Liverpool have the support they need when they take on Real Madrid at Paris’ Stade de France on Saturday night (28 May) by naming what he describes as “Britain’s cheapest manager”. buys. But his generosity doesn’t stop there as Simon has also decided to charge just £1 for a round trip to the French capital, reports the Liverpool Echo.
After seeing the prices of flights and ferry crossings go through the roof after Jurgen Klopp’s side advanced to the final, Simon decided to take matters into his own hands and help others who may have been banned from travel. The die-hard Reds fan was previously on budget trips to the Champions League final, driving a 40-pound Skoda to Madrid in 2019, where Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0.
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However, Simon said his latest mission is more based around enabling Liverpool fans to have “the experience of a lifetime” on a tight budget. A bit of searching on Google for “cheap tour buses” helped him find a suitable carriage, which he described as an “old 1950s school bus” now wrapped in stickers that he felt were more expensive than the vehicle.
Simon said: “A few years ago I saw fans asking for extortionate prices. People who were huge fans and just wanted to go to the game couldn’t because it was so expensive.
“I wanted to take the Skoda for this finale, but there are only a few seats in the car. We wanted something bigger so we could help people.
“I bought the cheapest UK coach that I could find. I just googled ‘cheap coaches’ and came across this one.
“We wrapped the bus and put stickers on it, the stickers cost more than the bus. The guy we bought him from just seemed like a really nice, helpful guy, so that kind of gave us some confidence, but we’ll let you know if the trainer is decent when we get there.”
The offer of £1 return bus tickets, as expected, proved very popular when Simon posted about it on Instagram. Simon added that there will be many fans he can’t take with him, but he hopes those who come will have a great time.
“It’s half-time this weekend and the Queen’s Jubilee is coming up. There is not a single ferry from the UK to the Netherlands, Paris or Spain that is free, all modes of transport are practically occupied. It’s just a nightmare weekend.
“As soon as I posted the post on my Instagram, we had thousands of people [contacting us] In minutes. Unfortunately we can’t accommodate everyone, but we will try to accommodate as many people as possible.”
The bus has headed to Dover after picking up its passengers outside Anfield. From the Kent coast, board a ferry to Calais before heading to Paris after an overnight stay. The return journey takes place on Sunday.
“The only ferry I was able to get was one at night, but even that was a cancellation,” explained Simon. “I was on the phone with them all the time, I called them every 10 minutes just to see if they had anything – I had to swim across the English Channel just to book the ferry.
“For me, it’s just about helping people get there. The petrol is over £1,500, I paid for the bus, the drivers are both paid, you have the insurance and so on.
“The cost of this is a small fortune but we only charge people £1 for a return. It’s about making it affordable for people who want to go and have the experience of a lifetime.”