Fans angered after Manchester United increase ticket prices

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The Independent Football

Manchester United have been accused of ignoring their own fans following confirmation ticket prices for next season will rise by £1 per game.

A top-price season ticket at Old Trafford will now cost £950 for a 19-match Premier League home programme, with Champions League and FA Cup ties on top.

United have blamed the increases on the rise in VAT to 20%, having absorbed the initial increase when it was implemented in January this year.

Taking into account this season's price freeze, United have pointed out the average price rise during the Glazer family's controversial six-year ownership stands at 5.8%, marginally below the figure from the last six seasons when the club was a PLC.

However, such claims have cut little ice with the Manchester United Supporters' Trust, who remain vehemently opposed to the Glazer family's ownership of the Red Devils.

MUST has noted the family cut prices at their Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise this year and believes they should have followed suit at United.

"Fans have seen prices rise 55% in the seasons since the Glazers took over and at a time when the club has been enjoying continued commercial success - something they seem more than happy to crow about - along with more than £100 million cash sitting in the bank unspent - they want to take yet more from ordinary supporters many of whom are struggling in difficult economic conditions," said MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo.

"They recently slashed prices by as much as 30% for many fans of Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and claimed they were listening to supporters.

"The Glazers have received more than 28,000 emails from United fans in the last two weeks asking for price reductions but obviously they aren't interested in listening to Manchester United supporters."

MUST also cast doubt on United's assessment of those rises during the Glazers' tenure, arguing the 10.6% increase during the first few months after their controversial, whilst agreed by the PLC board, came as a direct result of the Americans' hostile takeover plans, and could have been reversed.

"Their claim that average prices have increased less under the Glazers than the equivalent period under the PLC is laughable," said Drasdo.

"I expect many United fans would respond with similar expletives to those that got Wayne Rooney into hot water recently if asked to swallow that nonsense."

United's average figure is smaller that the increase of 6.5% that was confirmed recently by Arsenal.

And, like the Gunners but so few of their other Premier League counterparts, the Red Devils have no requirement to reduce prices as, apart from the odd cup tie, games at Old Trafford generally get somewhere near capacity, with the lowest crowd, other than for the Carling Cup fourth round tie against Wolves in October, the 72,610 that watched United's Champions League win over Bursaspor.

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