Managers offer solutions to halt falling crowds

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The Independent Football

Ferguson was quick to criticise his London rivals, and Chelsea in particular, for increasing prices when leading clubs visit. The Scot called on the Office of Fair Trading to act after hearing entry to Stamford Bridge can cost £85. "There should be a ceiling on ticket prices," Ferguson said. "Ever since I have come to England, I have never understood how teams in London are able to increase their ticket prices depending on who they are playing.

"That has been allowed to go on for 25 years. When United play Chelsea, I have heard it can cost £85 for some parts of Stamford Bridge. That should not be allowed. Why haven't the Office of Fair Trading done something about it? If a grocer puts his pound of sugar up a penny more than the guy next door he'll probably get fined £3,000 or closed down."

There were fears admission prices at Old Trafford would increase following the takeover by the American Malcolm Glazer but Ferguson said: "Our prices have been probably averaging below the normal. The North West has always been cheaper."

With attendances falling and too many teams putting survival ahead of entertainment, Wenger believes an extra point for teams who win by three or more goals would lead to more attacking football.

"What could work is awarding points on the basis of the difference between the goals you score and the goals you concede," Wenger said. "You could get an extra point if there is a difference of three, like 3-0 or 5-2. That might encourage teams to keep on attacking when they have the lead. There would be an incentive. The intention should always be to win. The most successful teams have always been attacking. Brazil have won more World Cups than anyone and Real Madrid more European trophies - both of them always play to win."

The Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein, is "quietly confident" Thierry Henry will see out his career at the club. "We will be entering into negotiations very shortly," Dein said. "We will do everything we can to make sure he stays here until the end of his career."