Manchester United booked a place in the FA Cup final after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The most expensive tickets cost £80, then £65, then £45 and £30 for the cheapest. Sitting in the singing section behind the goal, I paid £65, and had every intention for requesting tickets for the same area given how great the atmosphere was there.
However, the FA have since confirmed huge price hikes for the final, which see those same tickets cost an incredible £50 more. I could be sitting in the exact same seat, just weeks apart, but the FA think an extra £50 is a suitable price to pay.
The category A tickets will now cost £145, despite costing £115 last season and £80 for the semi. Category B will cost £115, cost £85 last season and £65 for the semi. Category C will cost £80, £65 last season and £45 for the semi, while Category D cost £45, cost £46 last season and £30 for semi.
Time and again the FA show a total lack of respect or consideration for match-going fans. The year before last, United faced Everton in the semi-final. With work scheduled to take place on the train line, which the FA had been made aware of, they chose to play our game at 5.15pm on the Saturday. If the game went to extra-time or penalties, United fans would have to miss them to reach the last train home, while Everton fans would have to leave the game early to make the last train to Liverpool. The following day, the two London based club in the other semi-final, had an earlier kick-off that would have suited the fans from the north-west.
For this final, fans are now left with limited choices. They can get massively ripped off or miss the chance to see their team in the cup final. Or, even worse, simply have no choice at all as they simply cannot afford the extortionate prices the FA are charging.
The FA are desperate to make the money back that went in to building the stadium, which is why fans now have to go to London for the semi-finals instead of venues like Villa Park, Old Trafford or Anfield. They seize every opportunity to make money off the fans, regardless of how inconvenient or costly it is.
The stadium cost close to £1bn to build, almost triple what the original plans had budgeted for. The stadium should have opened in 2003 but took until 2007. From start to finish it was a disaster and it is the fans who are paying the price, quite literally.
It’s a total disgrace.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.