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Thomas Cook: Sports fans await news of collapse impact on future games

Liverpool fans have used Thomas Cook for away Champions League games against Genk and RB Salzburg

Football fans are awaiting news on whether tickets for upcoming European away games will be valid following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The holiday company, which went into liquidation on Monday, failed to secure £250m needed to keep it afloat.

A number of Premier League clubs use Thomas Cook Sport for Champions League and Europa League match packages.

Those clubs are now working on contingency plans as they face European away games in the coming weeks.

As the business has ceased trading, packages and tickets are no longer valid – although people with trips planned have been advised they could try contacting the destination direct.

As most people would not have any insurance cover for such a trip, a refund claim would probably have to be made to the provider of the credit or debit card used to pay, officials have said.

Manchester United advertise home match breaks, stadium tours and Europe away matches with Thomas Cook on their website; they have Europa League games away to AZ Alkmaar on 3 October, Partizan Belgrade on 24 October and Astana, of Kazakhstan, on 28 November.

United said of their travel partners: “They have pre-sold a small number of tickets and hospitality for some home matches this season, along with travel packages to two upcoming Uefa Europa League away games.

“As soon as we were aware of their potential insolvency, we started to work through contingency plans and we will endeavour to contact affected Manchester United fans who had booked direct via Thomas Cook.”

Liverpool, who have Champions League away fixtures coming up against Genk on 23 October and RB Salzburg on 10 December, said fans travelling to home games would also be affected.

The club said: “We are aware Thomas Cook has ceased trading this morning. Thomas Cook sells 360 hospitality packages for each of our home games at Anfield.

“We are currently assessing the impact of Thomas Cook ceasing trading and the impact for those supporters who have purchased packages from Thomas Cook. Once we have those details from Thomas Cook we will update supporters.”

How have fans been affected?

Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City have all sold hospitality packages for games, as well as using Thomas Cook for Champions League and Europa League games.

Chelsea have been advertising Thomas Cook packages, including coach and flight travel and tickets, for their Champions League away group games against Lille and Ajax in October, and Valencia in November.

In American football, the NFL has booked packages through Thomas Cook for the games being held in London in October and November, which will see Chicago Bears, LA Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars compete in the capital.

The company was the NFL’s “officially approved travel partner” and advertised ticket and hotel breaks for the games at Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

An NFL spokesperson said: “We are aware of the concerns of NFL fans who have purchased tickets for this season’s London Games via Thomas Cook. We are investigating the situation in order to be able to advise on a course of action and will have further information as soon as possible.”

Fans of Formula 1, Six Nations and England cricket are also thought to have been affected.

Original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49795387

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