George Osborne Explains Why He Was At The Champions League Final

Posted: Updated: 21/05/2012 10:18

As Chelsea players climbed the steps of the Allianz Arena in Munich to collect the Champions League trophy on Saturday night, many fans watching back home in England let out a yelp of surprise.

But the screams weren't directed at the blues managing to effectively mug Bayern Munich in the dying seconds of the game, but at the sight of George Osborne sat in the VIP box of the stadium.

Having no doubt been made aware of the near universal confusion back home, the chancellor took to the pages of the Sunday Times to explain he was, in fact, a lifelong Chelsea fan.

"I first started going to Chelsea games in the mid-Nineties when I lived off the North End Road, ten minutes’ walk from Stamford Bridge," he said.

"Sadly I can’t go nearly as often these days. But my father and brother are season ticket-holders, so I get reports of games second-hand.

He added: "On Saturday night my brother texted me to say: 'Are you watching this??' I texted back to say: 'I’m not just watching it — I’m here' and he replied: 'So am I!'"

And keen to dispel any suggestion that he was their at the British taxpayer's expense, the chancellor explained he was there courtesy of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, with whom he said he had struck a deal.

"He is a Bayern Munich supporter. Our teams were both facing formidable Spanish sides in the semis. And we agreed that if we won — which frankly we both thought unlikely — we would have a rendezvous at the Allianz Arena," Osborne explained.

However according to the Daily Mirror, while the tickets for the final were paid for by Schäuble, the flight from London to Germany was picked up by the taxpayer.

The paper reports that as the chancellor held and official meeting with Schäuble before the game, he was able to put it down as a business trip.

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  • A supporter of Bayern Munich cheers his

    A supporter of Bayern Munich cheers his team before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's British defender John Terry (R

    Chelsea's British defender John Terry (R) waits on the pitch with team members before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Football fans made up as Bayern Munich's

    Football fans made up as Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery pose before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The UEFA Champions League trophy is pict

    The UEFA Champions League trophy is pictured before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea supporters cheer before the star

    Chelsea supporters cheer before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Former German football player and Bayern

    Former German football player and Bayern Munich advisor Paul Breitner carries the trophy over the pitch before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The team of Chelsea FC poses for a team

    The team of Chelsea FC poses for a team photo before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The team of Bayern Munich poses for a te

    The team of Bayern Munich poses for a team photo before the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech (L)

    Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) and Bayern Munich's German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich's German forward Mario Gom

    Bayern Munich's German forward Mario Gomez (L) looks at Chelsea's British defender Gary Cahill during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich's German forward Thomas Mu

    Bayern Munich's German forward Thomas Mueller reacts during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich's German forward Mario Gom

    Bayern Munich's German forward Mario Gomez (C) tries to score during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Supporters of Bayern Munich light flares

    Supporters of Bayern Munich light flares during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • (From L) Bayern Munich's German forward

    (From L) Bayern Munich's German forward Mario Gomez and German forward Thomas Mueller react as Chelsea's British midfielder and captain Frank Lampard shoots during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck

    Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery (R) and Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech react after the referee refused a goal for Munich during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech (C)

    Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech (C) jumps for the ball as Bayern Munich's German forward Thomas Mueller (R) scores the 1-0 during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's British midfielder Frank Lampa

    Chelsea's British midfielder Frank Lampard (R) walks past Bayern Munich's players celebrating their 1-0 during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich's German goalkeeper Manuel

    Bayern Munich's German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer jumps for the ball as Chelsea scores the 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's players celebrate after scorin

    Chelsea's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's players celebrate after scorin

    Chelsea's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Fans of German soccer club FC Bayern Mun

    Fans of German soccer club FC Bayern Munich react during a public screening of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, southern Germany. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo credit should read DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba

    Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba celebrates after scoring the 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich players discuss with Portu

    Bayern Munich players discuss with Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca (R) as Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery (2nd L) lays on the pitch during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck

    Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery (C) reacts while being helped by medical assistants during the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech (R)

    Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech (R) and Bayern Munich's German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer concentrate before the penalty session of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Spanish forward Juan Mata (R)

    Chelsea's Spanish forward Juan Mata (R) misses to score during the penalty phase of the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Allianz Arena

    Chelsea players during the penalty shoot-out

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Allianz Arena

    Chelsea players react to Didier Drogba scoring the winning penalty during the shoot-out

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Allianz Arena

    Suspended Chelsea captain John Terry (second right) joins his team-mates to celebrate their victory after the final whistle

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Allianz Arena

    Chelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates victory after the final whistle

  • Chelsea players celebrate with the troph

    Chelsea players celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties to win the Champions League. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba

    Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba (C) celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties to win the Champions League. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Spanish forward Fernando Torre

    Chelsea's Spanish forward Fernando Torres (L) and Chelsea's Portuguese defender Jose Bosingwa celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties to win the Champions League. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba

    Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba (C) celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties to win the Champions League. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chelses players celebrate with the troph

    Chelses players celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties to win the Champions League. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

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Filed by Ned Simons  |