Man United fans to protest Europa League ticket prices
Manchester United fans are planning to protest against being asked to pay 71 pounds ($102) per ticket for their Europa League away match against Danish champions Midtjylland on Thursday, British media reported. Southampton fans paid 22 pounds for tickets when their team travelled to Midtjylland in the playoff round in August and United supporters will display banners to indicate their dissatisfaction.
One United fan, Thomas Kearney, plans to unfurl a banner at the stadium with the words 'WELCOME TO SCAMDINAVIA' on it.
"Seventy-one pounds to watch a Europa League match is extortionate," Andy Mitten, editor of the United We Stand fanzine, said.
"The combined cost of all three tickets for Manchester United's Champions League away games was only 75 pounds. Do they think United fans are three times wealthier than Southampton fans?" Last week, Liverpool's owners abandoned plans to raise the price of the most expensive match-day ticket to 77 pounds next season after supporters staged a walkout protest during a home game against Sunderland.
Duncan Drasco, chief executive of the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Trust, described Midtjylland's stand on pricing as a real slap in the face.
"Clubs need to accept they are not selling tickets in a normal competitive market as fan loyalty means each club is an effective monopoly so they shouldn't be applying normal supply and demand economics," he added.
Midtjylland director Cliff Crown, however, defended the price. "We are only a small club in small region of Denmark and this is our cup final so we have to make the most of our opportunity," he told Talksport on Wednesday.
The Danish club's chief executive, Claus Steinlein, also insisted that the price was fair. "If you look at supply and demand perhaps the price should have been even higher," he told the Daily Telegraph. "That's the cost of watching a game like this. So I actually believe that we have been very fair and we certainly haven't had any problems selling the tickets."