There are between 56,000-57,000 in the entire World who get to enter Old Trafford for every home match with a season ticket in hand. ‘It’s that season ticket feeling’ is United’s ad campaign. When I got to watch recent European Cup semi-finals against Barcelona and AC Milan without having to apply for tickets, I would agree that the season ticket feeling is an extremely positive one. I wouldn’t swap seeing Wayne Rooney hammer the ball in to the net in front of the Stretford End or Paul Scholes perfectly finishing against Barcelona for anything.
However, moments like losing 2-0 to Coventry in the 3rd Round of the League Cup are times we could do without though. Having to pay over £30 to do so is pretty scandalous, when considering the quality, or lack of it, we see in such games.
Regardless, if you want a season-ticket, we have to play by the Glazers’ rules, don’t we?
MUST have reported United to the Office of Fair Trading for their season ticket policy. Whilst we no longer are forced in to purchasing League Cup games, the FA Cup and Champions League games are still compulsory.
So, some might say things are improving, however, the small print reads that if you pull out of League Cup games, you are not longer entitled to apply for away matches. One of the great benefits of having a season ticket is getting the opportunity to apply for away days (although the distribution of these away tickets is somewhat shady. You’ll hear many a story of reds who travel all over Europe watching United, yet aren’t given one of the 8,000 tickets on offer at Ewood Park!) and that privilege is taken away if you don’t fancy the League Cup games.
MUST’s main complaints are:
1. United’s season ticket terms and conditions are in breach of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999.
2. Their compulsory automatic cup ticket scheme is in breach of The Competition Act 1998, Part II, Section 18(2).
3. Their pricing policy is in breach of The Competition Act 1998, Part II, Section 18(2)(a).
“Over recent years we have seen unfair terms and huge ticket price rises imposed on supporters by club owners taking advantage of their loyalty,” said MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo. “MPs from all political parties have raised concerns and even the minister for sport felt it necessary to launch an outspoken attack on the huge price rises at Old Trafford in recent years. For a long time Manchester United was by no means the worst offender having previously had an admirable policy of keeping prices relatively low despite the success of the club. All that changed when the Glazers took over.”
Whilst not necessarily agreeing that our policy has changed massively since the Glazer takeover, lest we forget how the club shamelessly blamed Roy Keane’s new contract for the price hike a few years ago, the increase in ticket prices certainly is a massive problem for the Premiership. All power to United for wanting to set the example for fans’ rights.
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.