ManU is on course to "sell their 52,000 season tickets allocation" before they start their season in August, according to Stuart Mathieson of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Despite being deposed as EPL champions, the Reds "are matching last summer's sales." However, Old Trafford's ticket office staff have had to up their efforts to attract business during the economic crisis. Shortly after the season ManU came up with an "imaginative sales pitch," which featured a video appeal by Manager Alex Ferguson. It was a new strategy designed to "urge supporters to buy their season tickets early." During the two-minute commercial, which was e-mailed to fans, Ferguson said: "There is no club in the world who can create the drama that we created." Fans who previously were season ticket holders and had not renewed, plus ManU supporters who had let their membership lapse, were "also targeted with a mailshot that encouraged them to come back on board" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/11).