Thursday, January 03, 2008

Silent majority claim Old Trafford has been ‘turned into police state’

Source: Edited from main article:

The “police state” quote is evidently an exaggeration – only three fans have been ejected for standing at United’s past three home matches, with the club left to decide whether their season tickets are to be confiscated – but United fans frequently express dismay at the match-day atmosphere, citing various factors.

These include poor acoustics in the Stretford End since it was rebuilt, the number of corporate seats and day-trippers, the pricing-out of many hard-core supporters, particularly since the Glazer family’s takeover in 2005, and, uniquely to United, the formation of a breakaway club, FC United of Manchester, whose regular 2,000-plus attendances consist mostly of fans disenfranchised from Old Trafford.

Some of those fans – raucous individuals who continue to follow United away from home – boycott matches at Old Trafford because they do not want to line the Glazers’ pockets.

Ferguson has never hidden his contempt for those who jumped ship to set up a new club and he went farther in an interview on Tuesday when he criticised the “unfair” protests against the Glazers. Some of the fears expressed at the time of the takeover have not come to pass, but supporters are entitled to be upset by an aggressive ticketing policy that has priced many of them out of the ground.