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Didn’t Get A City Ticket? Here’s Why…

In the 2010-2011, 164,000 applications were made by fans for Manchester United’s away fixtures, which works out, on average, at around 8,630 applications per game. However, there were just 55,000 tickets available, an average of 2,890 per game.

Roughly a third of our tickets go to fans in in the loyalty pot, who have applied for every away game since December 2002. Two years ago the club planned to do away with the loyalty pot but thanks to protests from the fans they decided to keep it. Another third of our tickets go to executive members and the rest go to everyone else. To even apply for away tickets through the club you have to be a season ticket holder and pay for every cup game and the chances of you being successful are slim to none these days. For example, I’ve applied for every away game this season and not had any luck, and this story is becoming more and more common. You can talk to some people who have applied for every game for the past few seasons with very little, if any, successful ballots to speak of.

Last season RoM looked at a travel company who somehow got their hands on United’s away tickets, and were selling them on at extortionate prices. You could buy as many as eight at once and didn’t even have to hold United membership to buy them. Where are they getting our tickets from, which we have to pay a fortune for to even be in a chance of getting one?

Now, as we can see from the e-mail above, even the club are getting in on the action for ripping the fans off. Why on earth are away tickets for one of the biggest games of the season being given away to businesses who pay for match day suites? It’s absolutely scandalous. When looking at what fans have paid already this season, looking at average prices, it works out at £700 (season ticket) + £40 (League Cup vs Newcastle) + £120 (three CL group stage games) = £860. The FA Cup and knock-out stages of the Champions League are still to come.

For the derby last season, there were 16,000 applications for the 2,600 tickets available, meaning just one in six reds who applied got a ticket. And this is the game the club choose to give away to random businesses this season, who probably couldn’t give a fuck less about City away anyway. What a joke.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Adam says:

    I don’t think I would want to be at the City-Utd game next month.. scarry.

  2. Marq says:

    I don’t see what is wrong with what mansuy is saying. It is a cold cruel world out there. We have to run the club like a corporate if we are going to compete with the best, especially as we don’t have a sugar daddy like some of them. Giving away tickets to businesses is a way of attracting sponsors, which is currently our primary way of getting more income. Its a balancing act, one that will upset people on both sides. Passion alone will not be able to sustain the club, just look at Rangers. They never really spend absurb amount of money, half their country support them, and they still went down.

    Although on the flip side, you could go back to the argument that the Glazers have bleed so much money out of the club to banks especially. All that money could have been used to sustain the club so that fans can benefit. This is where STR is coming from I believe.

    There is good debts and there is bad debts. To the Glazers, this is a heavenly good debt, buying something they couldn’t afford, like how we buy our houses. But to us, it is a horrible debt, paying for something that was “technically” ours in the first place. Like the bank suddenly comes knocking on your door one day and ask you to pay for your house that you have been staying in for as long as you remembered.

  3. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    I can understand why fans who need tickets are angry that they are not getting them and the tickets are being wasted on offers that very few people claim anyways but expecting the club to return to the old days when the relationship between the hierarchy and the club was much more intimate is a pipe dream. The club is far too big and powerful for that nowadays. This is the opportunity cost of being a powerful and big club. More people want to see you and there are people who will slit their wrist to see the club and those are the people the club are sucking out cash from.

    As for atmosphere, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is always electric for big games REGARDLESS of who is in the stadium and how they got in. this is the same thing with EVERY OTHER big club out there. There is always gonna be a difference in atmosphere when we play Wigan than when we play Barcelona. that doesn’t have anything to do with the fans in the stadium.

  4. theRedderdevil says:

    If u went to school and was put through the laws of demand and supply and still can’t understandd that those tickets will even get costlier and rare then you can’t be helped. United games are on auction to the highest bidder worldwide. sorry if u can’t compete. Hate the game, not the player.

  5. thomas777 says:


    If you cant stand the Manchester United being best supported club in the world?Then go fill up that shiity neighbors stadium? It fits perfectly for you as the club is supported by locals only Who gives u a shit about u living there? U stand living beside a stadium means you are better supporter than anyone? Our club wont be here today without the 90% of the foreign “plastic fans” u spoke of. Show some respect to those who dont have chance to go to the stadium every matches.

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    David Beckham will leave LA Galaxy after MLS cup.

    Confirmed by MLS.

    Bet Glazers would love having him working for “The brand”. Brand MU Bling :lol:

  7. Tom Addison says:

    I don’t think mansuy united realises how economically illiterate his comment is. The laws of supply and demand are not flawless, nor should they always be left to their own devices. The purpose of football shouldn’t be profit maximisation, it should be to maximise the welfare of the fans, and the only way we can ensure this is to place controls upon all clubs with regards to ticket prices so that if there is a club out there with a shred of decency or sense of a conscience that decides to have a more egalitarian approach to ticket pricing that they aren’t competed “out of the market” straight away by clubs who, by charging more, can attract the best players etc etc etc.

  8. Rohan_19 says:

    Team for today

    Rafael jones wooton buttener
    Cleverly anderson
    Chicho king

    Im going to be miles off on this prediction..
    However hopefully we’ll get cameos from petrucci tunni cole

  9. edhardy says:

    Nicely put but in Manchester United and football in general, the days of supporters satisfaction went away a long time ago. Now it all about profit and staying competitive.

  10. AlphaRS says:

    @Tom Addison
    Since The Glazers purchased Manchester United their goal has been profit maximisation.
    Manchester United has never belonged to any of us (unless it was through being a shareholder) regardless of how many games we have or have not been to it. It has been the property of the owners. It is no longer just a club from Manchester, but a global marketing machine making deals with any brand willing to stump up the premium.
    On one hand it is the profit maximisation that fund transfer fees and player salaries which under SAF leads to continued and sustained sucess over the long run. On the other hand football is a working mans game, and the ordinary working class man is not likely able to afford to watch Manchester United anymore because the money men found out they could make extortionate amounts of money from the game.
    Whether season tickets are given up or not their will always be somebody to fill that seat willing to pay that little bit more than before. Until that stops prices will keep rising and rising and rising until seats are replaced by leather recliners, and prawn sandwiches and wine are served all over the stadium, because if things keep going the way they are it will only be the middle and upper classes that will be able to afford to watch United.
    Their are people on this blog who back The Glazers and their business model but fail to see it from the fans point of view. But The Glazers own United and their is nothing we can do about it. or their policies.

  11. Tom Addison says:

    @edhardy and AlphaRS – I agree wit everything you say. The question we need to ask is, “What can we do the stop the hyper commercialisation of football that’s pushing out working class fans?”

    For me, controls need to be implemented to constrain clubs’ ability and/or incentive to squeeze the fans dry. For example, you make the correct point that it’s the prawn sandwic brigade who ultimately pay for the transfer fees and wages that bring in the best players and the trophies; so how about a salary cap? If there’s only so much you can pay a player, there’s only such much you need to squeeze from the fans.

    Now I’m not 100% advocating a salary cap here, they’re not without their flaws, but it’s one idea amongst many that could help this situation, otherwise it’s nothing but a self-sustaining upward spiral that people with an A level in economics try to justify.

  12. dasilvatwins says:

    off topic, but beckham to quit on december 1st. united seem to be in need of a winger that delivers? on a free and short term basis why not?. fergie sign him up!

  13. Tom Addison says:

    Because we already have enough players on the wrong side of 35. Plus there’s the self-obsessed media circus that Mr Beckham revels in. No thanks.

  14. samuel - united WE stand says:

    dasilvatwins says:

    off topic, but beckham to quit on december 1st. united seem to be in need of a winger that delivers? on a free and short term basis why not?. fergie sign him up!”

    Wake up and search for your mind, you have lost it. This is real top level football, you can’t just bring in players that are unlikely to be better than what united have, you can’t just stick any man and his dog in the team.

  15. Goat Peticoat says:

    mansuy united’
    2nd post of the day. I have to agree in principle I agree with what you say. Sorry StR. If we look back to the day Sir Alex took over we were in a possition not much better than Liverpool see themselves in now. Under achieving, seriously silly transfers, ground too small, next to zero global reach. The busby babes long forgotten apart from the real fan. Then the ticket price should have been comparable to other clubs of the day, the Tottenhams, Evertons etc.
    Now we are getting that plus a whole lot more, things have moved on. I personally would love to pay near a £1000 to watch United, would jump at the bloody chance but alas I live too far away. But guaranteed if I lived in and around Manchester I would certainly pay that, I would watch every reserve match. £1000 for a whole year, thats £83 a month. To put that in perspective my petrol has gone up by £80 odd pounds in the last 5 years alone per month. £80 is fuck all. Back in the days of Thatcher £80 was a fucking disaster, nowadays its peanuts. Its less than a days wages after tax.

  16. AlphaRS says:

    @Tom Addison
    If a salary cap was implemented I don’t think their is any way of confirming that The Glazers will not continue to do the things we have discussed above. After all they are money men looking to maximise profits from all revenue streams not just to fund the running of the club and the servicing of debt, but also to fun their other businesses in America.
    If a wage cap was implemented in The Premiership then it would have to be implemented world wide because otherwise the best players would just move to a league where their is no salary cap. This would probably lead to a decline of the Premiership.

  17. AlphaRS says:

    Can’t see it happening myself. The media circus that follows him around is something that SAF does not like. The Glazers might like it though as it would certainly sell shirts and further increase the profile of the club through the media if Beckham was at United.
    But I think the level of football in the Premiership far exceeds the level of football in The MLS. If anything I think it might be an idea for him to go to China where he can increase his own profile in China and earn large sums of money too.

  18. Goat Peticoat says:

    Scott The Red

    i dont get the chance to talk to you personally fella and no doubt you couldnt give a rats arse either way. Id like to have the oppertunity to thank you what you do here for us despite some of the stick you get.
    Talking of stick, lol.
    What happened to the fantasy football league by ProSportex. It hasnt been updated for two weeks and its as if only I have cared about it. Have they lost interest. Have you heard anything. Nobody on there talks so I dont get any feedback from anyone on the matter. Its just stopped. Would like to know if I should stop wasting my time on it.
    Thanks again.

  19. dasilvatwins says:

    while i agree the MLS is no where near the premiership, certain players have qualities that they just do not lose,henrik larson was playing for helsingborg before he joined united on loan. i was simply putting it out as a maybe on a short term 2 month basis considering our wingers are struggling . BTW do not take this the wrong way, i am not supporting a national campaign on ” bring beckham back”, it was just a thought , more wishful thinking. even i know he is not going to come back to united

  20. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Da silva – simply put it, united him as much as they need round bubble bellied pair of stavros flatly as goal-keepers.

  21. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Da silva – simply put it, united need him as much as they would need the round bubble bellied pair of stavros flatly as goal-keepers.

  22. samuel - united WE stand says:

    And as for “players not losing their qualities” of course they don’t but their waning and weary physic meana they become pale shadows of the players they were. Larsson coming to unied was as much to do with fergie’s living a fantasy of coaching one of the best players in world in his prime and to share his experience. If he stayed beyond the 3 months, we’ll see a slight drop in quality. It’s the same with giggs and scholes, both are marveled at by me as do many, they are world class players but are getting dominated by more energetic/hungry players. It’s a pity but as giggs would have done it to several veterans/any defenders in his prime, the tables have turned and that is what life is all about as much as it is the game.

  23. Tom Addison says:

    @AlphaRS – Agreed, obviously the Glazer’s are a special case (a special case of leaching c*nts), and so squeezing the fans dry is always in their interest. However, if you have a football club run by people with a conscience (or by the fans), then the only other incentives for squeezing fans dry are to fund success or cover debts. Whilst football clubs should try to make a profit (so they don’t do a Pompey), it shouldn’t be their raison d’etre.

    This is why FFP was intoduced. Let’s say every club is run by fans or a decent owner; you may get some clubs advocating spending too much on transfers in order to fund success, and eventually they’ll do a Leeds. Clubs need to be forced to be run responsibly, but the balance that needs to be struck is between making a profit and not ripping off the fans.

    With regards to a salary cap, again I agree, hence why I said “I’m not 100% advocating a salary cap”. And even if it were implemented worldwide, another problem would be clubs and agents finding other ways of paying the players.

  24. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Let’s bring back Beckham and have a midfield of giggs, scholes with beckham on the right. Why don’t we give Mickey Thomas a call too and I’m sure Paddy Crerand would relish a return if only it was for the chance of taking a swing at Suarez.

  25. Goat Peticoat says:

    How about that. You get told these players get this sort of money but actually seeing it in black and white makes me feel a little sick. Love the £24 FA fine, lol.

  26. Wazzaswig says:

    I hardly ever get an away ticket. I apply for pretty much every away ticket and usualy get fuck all. I managed to get a Chelsea away ticket in the cup but got nothing for the league game. I opt in for the League cup which they say you have to in order to be able to just apply and now this comes out. Your a bunch of cheeky fucking cunts United but alas i still love you and will continue to pay for my season ticket every year and they know we all will. Manchester United, supported by real fans, Played for and managed by Geniuses and run by utter cunts.

  27. Wazzaswig says:

    Mansuy what are you banging on about?

    We do pay for it. £700 for my season ticket and then every home cup game? You want to give it a try sometime pal.

  28. urval87 says:

    @ mansuy – Do not apologise! You make some very valid points.

    While one can understand that fans who are used to attending matches since childhood feel shortchanged by this, the fact is that any club has to be run like a business.

    Also, paying a travel agent an obscene amount of money to watch a game is a once in a lifetime and very emotional experience for us international fans, so posters here saying that we are not real fans understand little about what Manchester United is today and how it got here!

    This particular instance of marketing strategy though, highlights a lack of commercial vision at the club (a poster above mentioned that having the best support there would be beneficial) – a point at the Etihad could deliver the title and much more revenues through increased support worldwide.

  29. Proverb says:

    Telegraph: Galatasaray v Manchester United: Turkish police forced to use pepper spray on disruptive fans a…

    Good luck to the traveling united fans
    They gonna need it, that hostile shit hole is dreaded by many
    Fucking glad we’re already through, now its only fun and games, they gonna have to stomach it now, hopefully the kids gonna put up a great match winning performance there

  30. wayne says:

    I actually thought Tevez was making more
    anyone thinking something can be done to make Football more cost effective for the working class fan is in dreamland,that ship sailed years ago
    Football has just caught up with North American sports prices,there’s been caps or form of cap implemented in NFL,NHL,NBA and MLB for years ticket prices have still risen in most cases beyond the means of the ave fan to attend all the gamee.
    I know lots of lads who have either given up Calgary Flame season tickets or a few chip in and split the tickets
    Once a ticket reaches a certain level it’ll never reduced unless fans stop watching the product.Thing is a lot of the Flames season tickets are owned by businesses 50 percent is a tax right off and it makes good perks to give to the businesses customers.
    Football is just heading the same way

  31. Proverb says:

    Fergie completely avoiding them scums haha
    I think ‘hell’ is a lot less intimidating if you have already qualified

  32. Pal Ghai says:

    Feels good to qualify early and utilise the youngsters in the remaining games.As much as we all want to win today,personally i feel gettting used to such hostile atmospheres will do the lads the world of good

  33. eternorosso says:

    this is pathetic..cant believe the club is doing this to its most loyal fans..LUHG

  34. Scott the Red says:

    Will look in to it.

  35. kanchelskis says:

    Proverb says:

    I think ‘hell’ is a lot less intimidating if you have already qualified

    Haha, spot on. Hilarious that the supporters are trying to ratchet up all this psychological pressure when the game is literally meaningless to us. Probably too dense to even realise that.

    Thing is, whatever team we put out will be playing under no pressure anyway, and in fact in front of their own mental supporters, Gala will be under huge pressure. Would be funny if we won anyway, just to shut those twats up.

    “No way out!” What, no way out of the group? Too late, dickheads!

  36. kanchelskis says:

    Anyone else seen this?

    Wow. If that’s “hell”, I’ll happily be a bad person for the rest of my life.

    Seriously, how small-time can you get? A 2am prank call. What is this? The Evo-Stik league? What the fuck was the woman at the hotel doing putting him through anyway? Like Ash’s brother would have a Turkish accent.

    Best case scenario now? Late winner from Young. Celebration to camera mimicking a telephone conversation.

  37. Canada says:

    On a comparison of seats/location, we will pay more to watch TFC in the MLS than people in Manchester to see the world’s greatest team.

    Let me say that again – we will pay MORE to watch TFC in the MLS than people in Manchester to see the world’s greatest team.

    In Toronto the football sucks, the team sucks, the management sucks and the owners suck. Yet we still paid it. This year the fans finally had enough and massive ticket renewal decline occurred. This is leading to some price/approach changes by our front office.

    With the biggest club in the world, that kind of fan action is next to impossible.

    Sadly, no matter who owns United will run a business first and a club second from here on out. It’s the reality of the world we live in.

  38. AlphaRS says:

    @Tom Addison
    I like the idea of FFP. The game had to become regulated somehow and it is good that UEFA have shown the initiative. I agree clubs need to spend within their means and it is unfair for a billionaire owner to come in and spend ridiculous amounts of money on transfers and salaries pricing clubs who are run wihin their means out of the market. At the same time though FFP doesn’t cover owners coming in and buying a football club on credit as The Glazers have done or owners coming in and taking large quantities of money out of the game to subsidise their other businesses.

    I would be in favour of some sort of regulation brought in where at least 50% of the club must be owned by the fans, or even 100% as per The Barcelona or Real Madrid model. At least fans would have some sort of say as to how the club is run and where money is allocated.

    I mean I would love it if United had a system in place where schools in the local area were allocated tickets so the next generation of United fans could come and watch United for nothing. I think a football club should have close ties to the local community and not just be there to maximise profits.

  39. huntaaar says:

    OOO look an argument on the internet, that’l sort everything out.

  40. belfast red. says:

    I get over to 8 to 9 games a season. I honestly couldnt afford anymore. The argument the season ticket holders have is a valid 1 tho. Id be fuckin raging if i had a season ticket and couldn’t get to 1 of the biggest away games of season. The away support has always been the hardcore of fans no matter if theyare frm manchester or not. It should stay that way. I find it ridiculous that any united supporter has an issue with that.

  41. belfast red. says:

    Oh and btw thats hme games i get over to. United is my first love. Love manchester aswel. As the irish connection is their, so wen i go to manchester i always feel at home and always made to feel welcome except by the bitterz lol.

  42. Raf's Curling Tongs says:

    Another point that tends to be ignored is the massive effect that this is having on the atmosphere at games. I’m not lucky enough to go to OT regularly any more, only making it to around 5/6 games a season, but more and more I’m noticing how utterly terrible the atmosphere is at times. This is in no small part down to the growing army of corpos who are at the games. They don’t sing, they don’t cheer, they just sit there with virtually no concern about what’s happening on the pitch. When our seventy thousand strong support get out sung by five thousand cocks from Wigan, who don’t even know what shape a football’s supposed to be, I’m utterly dismayed. If this happened with the away lads and ladies too it’d be a(nother) travesty.

  43. T. says:

    The way some “proper” Mancs are talking makes me sick. Where the fuck would this great club be without all us “plastics”huh? Go learn some fucking economics or support Stockport if u hate us so much u pathetic twats. We do whatever we can to earn enough money to buy the jerseys and even to go to a coulpe of games every year. If I had been fortunate enough to live in the Manchester area I would happily pay the silly price of 700 quids to get a season ticket…it is fucking nothing. It isalmost the same price we pay to get season tickets in Sweden….and that is so fucking poor football that I cant really see if it is the same sport.

    I also think it is sad that there arent enough season ticket holders on the home games so they can be heard properly, but it all comes down to economics. WE “the plastics” pay about 700 quids to attend one (1) game, including flight, hotel, beer and hospital bills….and we are prepared to pay that amount to see OUR team as well.

    So sod of MancunianRedM15 and Manc, u are a disgrace to my club if u cant understand the meaning of true love.

    To everyone else.


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