The run-up to next year’s UEFA Cup Final in Manchester got underway today (Thursday 6 December 2007) with an event to reveal the designs to publicise the event.
This year’s designs have been created by celebrated Manchester-based artist Liam Spencer, one of the rising stars of the British contemporary arts scene.
He has created three major pieces of work that will be used on materials ranging from stadium decoration and posters to websites and match tickets.
One shows a glowing aerial view of the City of Manchester Stadium, where the UEFA Cup Final will be played on Wednesday 14 May 2008, another is a stylised image of the distinctive Stadium structure, and the third is an image of football fans enjoying the spectacle of a top-level match.
The designs got an enthusiastic reception from the people at the event at the Stadium today – including UEFA Cup Final ambassador Denis Law, who was European Footballer of the Year in 1964 and who played for both Manchester City FC and Manchester United FC during his outstanding career.
Also there were Mr Geoff Thompson, chairman of the Football Association and Vice-President of UEFA, Mr Alistair Mackintosh, Chief Executive of Manchester City Football Club, and Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.
Liam Spencer spoke about the process of creating the artwork and answered questions about it.
Sir Richard said: "The UEFA Cup Final is a great opportunity for Manchester to show the world how we enjoy international events that bring benefits and investment to all those who live and enjoy themselves in the city.
"We are delighted that the UEFA Cup Final will promote Manchester through two of our greatest passions, our love of sport and our love of culture.
"Liam Spencer's work is renowned for its Manchester connections and it's totally appropriate that UEFA has chosen his images to launch the UEFA Cup Final 2008."
Mr Thompson said: "The City of Manchester Stadium is a fitting stage for a match of the importance of the UEFA Cup Final, and I'm sure that Manchester as a real football city will make it a fantastic, fan-friendly event."
Mr Mackintosh said:
"Liam’s work reflects the pride that everybody here at Manchester City feels in hosting the UEFA Cup Final. The final will be a terrific opportunity to showcase our stadium and the city."
The idea that inspired the creation of a new identity for each final was to develop a specific design featuring the UEFA Cup and including a distinctive flavour of the host city. The objective is to help promote the final and enhance the prestige of one of the Europe’s biggest sporting occasions.
Preparations for the UEFA Cup Final will include a grassroots tournament of 3v3 street football matches, starting in January and culminating in the finals in the city centre in the week of the Final.
In mid-March the UEFA Cup will be handed over to the City of Manchester by the holders Sevilla FC. The trophy will then go on a tour of venues across Manchester.
During the week of the Final, there will also be festivals for football fans in the city centre, with music, entertainment, food and drink.
Tickets for the final will go on sale on 14 February 2008 exclusively via UEFA’s website uefa.com. The ticket application phase will close on 14 March 2008. All applicants will be informed if they are among the lucky winners or not.
-official uefa press release