ManU Faces Revolt From Fans Over Europa League Ticket Price Increase
ManU faces "a backlash from season-ticket holders," who have learned that they will be charged Champions League prices for Europa League seats next season, in the event of the club slipping into the competition, according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Fans "had hoped that Europa League games would be excluded from season-ticket prices" for '14-15, as they were when the club was eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage two years ago and faced Ajax and Athletic Bilbao. However, tickets for the lesser European competition will be included in the controversial “automatic cup scheme,” which also forces season-ticket holders to buy a seat for FA Cup matches and is one of the most resented features of the commercial regime under the ownership of the Glazer family. The decision to charge fans up to £50 ($83) for the "dubious privilege" of watching ManU play the lesser lights of European football next autumn "has the potential to persuade many supporters not to renew their season tickets" (INDEPENDENT, 2/20). The MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS reported ManU insists that "they have not decided on a ticket pricing structure for next season's Europa League while Champions League qualification remains possible." But the club has "admitted that games in either European competition will remain part of the automatic cup scheme for season ticket holders" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 2/20).