WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Tickets for the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final, to be played on Thursday 23 May at Stamford Bridge, are now on sale.
The biggest event in European women's club football returns to London for the second time in three years, at the home of the current men's European champions.
An ambassador for the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final, Chelsea legend Graeme Le Saux joined former England Women's captain Faye White at Stamford Bridge this morning to launch ticket sales, with prices just £10 for adults and £5 for juniors.
The tournament, originally named the UEFA Women's Cup, is 11 years old and became the Women's Champions League in 2009/10 with the final becoming a single match.
French side Lyon won the two previous tournaments with last year's final drawing more than 50,000 spectators to Munich's Olympiastadion.
This year, 54 teams have been involved and following a qualification process, 32 made it through to the knockout stages which began in September.
Arsenal, who were winners in 2006/07, remain the only English side in the competition, after Birmingham City were eliminated in the first knockout round back in October.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is delighted to be hosting such a showcase event. He said: 'Having witnessed the final in Munich last year, when Lyon won it for the second year in a row in front of over 50,000 fans, it was quite an event.
'It's great to have it here at Stamford Bridge, it's a fantastic showcase for us and women's football and it's a real highlight for the game in the UK.
'I would expect a full house no matter who plays in the final so I think everybody is looking forward to it and it is great for the people behind the scenes because it shows their work is being appreciated at UEFA level.
'It is a great opportunity for us as well, we are putting a lot behind our ladies team and with the introduction of Emma Hayes [as manager], she has great experience and has actually won the competition a few years ago.
'She has spent a bit of time here in the UK as an assistant manager but she has also worked in the US and managed clubs there so she understands the game very well and understands the objectives of the football club.
'It is now time for us to push along. The Super League starts in March and it is for everyone from grass roots through to the professional game to push forward. Maybe in the future we can get our women's team into the final.'
Emma Hayes was also present at the launch, and hopes it will bring more attention to the Ladies team at Stamford Bridge.
'This is the pinnacle of the women's game and a great opportunity for us,' she said. 'Being around that trophy reminds me what a wonderful tournament it is and how we would like to bring some of that glory to this football club.'
Both Le Saux and White, who lifted the trophy with Arsenal Ladies back in 2007, believe this game can help inspire even more youngsters to get involved in football.
'This is great news for the club and a real honour,' Le Saux said. 'Having won the men's final last year and having Wembley hosting that again this year make it a very exciting time all-round. 'Any girls or women who play football and see this game will really benefit, seeing the high standard that has been set.'
'Women's football is growing in popularity at an impressive rate,' White added. 'The UEFA Women's Champions League final is a fantastic opportunity for fans to come together to see top-quality football played in a prestigious stadium. I hope that it will help inspire a new generation of female footballers in England.'
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino believes Stamford Bridge is the perfect setting for the contest. 'The UEFA Women's Champions League final is the pinnacle of the European women's club football season,' he said. 'UEFA is proud to stage the prestigious event in London and at Stamford Bridge, giving fans the opportunity to watch and celebrate first- class football in a family-friendly atmosphere.'
The final will kick off at 7.30pm UK time and the affordable ticket price structure ensures all football fans, including families, will be able to attend.
Full prices are: Adults: £10 Juniors (under 18): £5 Seniors (over 65): £5. The ticket packages for disabled supporters include a free seat for an accompanying person.
Tickets can be purchased at www.chelseafc.com/uefawomensfinal now.