Manchester United ticket protest: Louis van Gaal supports fans against Midtjylland prices

United fans plan to unveil a banner reading 'Welcome to Scamdanavia' at Thursday's Europa League match

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The Independent Football

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has given his full backing to fans planning on carrying out a protest during tonight’s Europa League match against FC Midtjylland after the Danish club charged £71 for matchday tickets.

Around 800 supporters have travelled to Jutland to cheer on United as they embark on their Europa League campaign, having dropped out of the Champions League group stage. But upon drawing reigning Danish Superliga champions Midtjylland, United fans were dismayed to discover that they will be charged £71 to watch the match on top of travel costs to Denmark.

It has led to United fans organising a protest against the costs during tonight’s match where a banner reading ‘Welcome to Scamdinavia’ will be unveiled, and speaking ahead of the game, Van Gaal was clear to state where his loyalties lie over the ticket prices.

“Of course, I support the fans,” Van Gaal said on Wednesday. “It is a big difference from the price of the game against Southampton. It shows you that Manchester United is a big team in this world. In the Netherlands you also have a big difference in prices but this is a lot. I have very much sympathy for the fans.”

Midtjylland played Southampton in August where away fans were charged £22 for entry, nearly £50 less than United fans have been forced to fork out.

However, Midtjylland’s sports director, Claus Steinlein, has claimed that the price is “fair” while their chairman Rasmus Ankerson claimed that the club need to utilise the opportunity of playing a club with the global interest of United’s support.

"We could have sold over 50,000 tickets," Steinlein told Ritzaus Bureau.

"So, in relation to supply and demand, the price might have been even higher.

"I think, in fact, we have been fair, and we've certainly had no trouble selling tickets."

Ankersen added when speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's a big game for us with a lot of demand so we feel it's important we capitalise on that. Our fans have not complained about it.

"It's a lot of money but people here think this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Midtjylland were also keen to stress that tickets were the same price for home fans and that Uefa had forced them to reduce the stadium’s capacity from 11,800 to 9,500 due to the ban on standing terraces, while their manager Jess Thorup supported the club’s decision.

“This is probably the biggest game in the history of the club,” Thorup said. “I am very happy that the club decided to play the game in Herning, although we could have moved it to a bigger stadium.

“I have not heard a lot of complaints from our fans about the prices and everybody at the match will pay the same. I think it is a fair price and I hope everyone gets value for their money.”