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Season ticket price freeze – Enough for rebel red’s fans?

United Green and Gold

Manchester United yesterday announced they are to freeze season ticket prices for next season. The news comes as the fan’s Green and Gold campaign comes to a crescendo, with visual and vocal displeasure at the current regime evident each time United play.

It is obviously more welcome than a price increase for the 55,000 season ticket holders at Old Trafford but this freeze will not make all things rosy in the club’s current turbulent relationship with it’s fans.

It should not be forgotten that United were the only club in the whole of the Premier League, to increase season ticket prices just a year ago. Last year’s increase of £1 per game, riled United fans but it was something they had become accustomed to, with prices on average increased by 50% since 2005.

The conductor of the Green and Gold campaign is the Manchester United Supporters Trust  who have their roots entrenched in stopping Rupert Murdoch’s takeover bid back in 1998. Their vision is simple, they want a board that they believe has the best interests of the club at heart, if that means themselves, then great, because they would argue no one wants better for their club than it’s fans.

MUST have been avidly against the Glazer’s ownership since they began their takeover but it was not until this January when they would maybe say ‘the penny dropped’ for the wider section of United fans. When the usually so profitable club announced it would have actually made a loss of £31.8 million, if they had not sold Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80 million.

This was coupled with news that the club had to issue a bond sale to service it’s mammoth debt, a debt only created because the Glazer family borrowed against the club’s assets in order to take it over in the leveraged buyout.

This news kick-started the Green and Gold campaign which has burst out of the traps, in fact since the start of the campaign MUST has trebled it’s number of members to currently nearing 150,000.

Manchester United’s chief executive David Gill has however stood in defence of the current regime, rushing to ease United fans concerns after the club signed another lucrative sponsorship deal 2 weeks ago.

“We have a sound business model and Telekom Malaysia is partnering one of the best teams in world football. That will always be the case.

The owners thought we were doing very well on the commercial front but that there were other opportunities out there. This is the insight they have brought in.

It doesn’t get much media coverage but the very fact they have come in and are able to do these deals benefits us. We can reinvest that money back into the team.”
David Gill, Manchester United Chief Executive.

He is of course employed by the Glazers, whether that effects his judgement or not is up for debate. The price freeze does go against the grain of the Glazer’s tenure though and so it appears the Green and Gold campaign is not falling on deaf ears inside Old Trafford.

The worry for MUST would be that Manchester United have here offered a sweetener to many fans, in a strange way it may have benefited the Green and Gold campaign if the club had announced an increase in price.

From a business perspective, you could argue that the product on the pitch is the best in world and so prices should reflect that. Of course this is football though and not as simple as most businesses, indeed when I interviewed South Manchester MP John Leech last year he echoed those sentiments.

“We have to start treating football clubs differently to other businesses.”

John Leech MP

In that interview we discussed the likes of Wimbledon’s move to Milton Keynes and there is certainly a case that many fans of other clubs could offer a sense of perspective to United fans.

To be honest I think its funny! Man United are top of the league, still in with a chance of winning the champions league and have some of the best players in the world, and yet the fans still think they are hard done by.

I also find the whole “yellow and green” campaign rather weak. Im guessing the Glazers really wont worry too much about people paying £40 to watch their club whilst wearing a yellow and green scarf. The only TRUE protest would be to stop going and go and support FCUM.

We were wound up for about £35K and we have been run by a very dodgy owner for many years, the FA, League etc must have known what was going on, but because we are only a small club they turned a blind eye. I’m sure if something simular happened at United that the FA etc would soon have a plan to get things sorted.

Therefore I would say to the United fans, if you really think it’s that bad then stop giving your money to the Glazers and really protest, in the mean time enjoy your cucumber sandwiches and continue to enjoy the success on the pitch.”

Ben, Chester fan.

Despite Ben’s damming verdict on United fans campaign another Chester supporter I spoke to offered a little more support.

“It’s a step along the way of returning football to the fans in my opinion. A small one, just like ours.” Canadian Exile, Chester fan.

Here at, we want to hear from all perspectives on this subject, perhaps you’re a happy season ticket holder? Perhaps your still fuming with the current regime? A fan of another club offering perspective or support for United fans? One of the millions of reds around the world that if they lived in England they would pay hundreds for a ticket and cant see what the fuss is all about?

Everyone has an opinion on this subject, let your’s be known in the comments box below…



  1. Red Rupert

    March 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    The FA should never have allowed the Glazers to buy the club with it’s own money. They were quick enough to stop Sky buying United even though they didn’t need to borrow to do so. Now they have put the club at risk by doing what they do best – sitting on their hands and being clueless

  2. Mike

    March 26, 2010 at 10:22 am

    A Tale of Two Cities

    1970 – the year I was born. Manchester United who just 18 months earlier were riding high on the back of their European Cup triumph in 1968, though still fielding players like Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, enter a period of relative decline. Wilf McGuinness gets the sack and Matt Busby returns to the hot seat.

    1978 – I attend my first Chester match at Sealand Road. I can’t wait to get back to school to tell the other kids about it.
    Despite living right next door to the other children in school, despite playing with them after school, supporting Chester makes me an outsider in my own town. Chester are an irrelevance – when we take off our jumpers to mark out the goals, one team pretends to be Liverpool, the other pretends to be Manchester United. I’m too young to be phased by this; it is only later that this will make me angry.

    1978 – As I continue to plod across the farmer’s field from Blacon to the ground at Sealand Road, in the winter wearing wellies to cross the marsh, in the summer drinking coke and eating crisps, I feel happy that the money raised from odd jobs (emptying bins, tidying lawns, running errands for my granddad) is all spent on this one afternoon. The other kids may play at being Manchester United, but I’m not playing – I’m actually a part of my club.

    1984 – I am one of only 206 fans to attend a game. I can’t recall which one, but recall the attendance.
    Now if only all those kids who play at being Manchester United were at the game, it would have been so much different.

    1986 – Life gets in the way. I leave Chester, go to university, women become more of a distraction, I start and finish jobs, wander around for a few years……

    1995 – I return to Chester and the world has changed! It’s all about the Premier League – a whole new ball game indeed. All the pubs are showing Sky Sports; all the fans are talking about Manchester United; the fans are even wearing Manchester United tops as they watch the games in Chester pubs! As I walk round the streets, I see all these little boys looking like Manchester United. When I was young, they only pretended to be Manchester United, but now they’ve got all the tops, all the gear and are sporting it proudly right on the streets of Chester!
    There is not a Chester top to be seen.

    1999 – Manchester United win the Champions League
    1999 – Terry Smith takes over at Chester, followed by Stephen Vaughan: you all know these stories about Chester City so i don’t need to say any more. I can’t help but think that the money being put into Manchester United by the kids wearing their Giggs and Beckham tops is really money being taken out of Chester and relocated to Manchester.
    This starts to make me angry. Manchester United have never contributed anything to Chester City – why are the people of Chester contributing so much to Manchester United? Am I missing something?

    2009/2010 – It finally happens. The door closes on Chester City football club. After 125 years in existence we never got higher than the old third division.
    2009/2010 – Despite continued success at the top of the Premier League; despite fielding the likes of Rooney and Berbatov, Manchester United fans launch a protest.

    I find this confusing. What exactly are they protesting about? Are they protesting about having over 100 years of top-flight success? Are they protesting about their unwillingness to put anything back into the likes of Chester, a city they have taken so much from over the years? Are they protesting in support of the plight that has befallen Chester City and countless other smaller clubs?

    No. They are not protesting about this. Their eyes, ears, experience and knowledge do not extend beyond the boundaries of Manchester.

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