Fans of other clubs assume that it is easy supporting Manchester United, if only they knew! It seems that the club is intent on making it hard as possible for the average match going fan and their latest communication is proof of that.
At the moment we’re unable to ascertain if this email has been sent to all season ticket holders/members or, as it suggests, a select few.
It begins in somewhat sinister fashion…
“Our records show that you have got into the stadium at, or after, kick off for most Premier League matches so far this season.”
Quite why football fans should be monitored or face scrutiny such as this when attendees at other similar big events like concerts don’t is staggering. Especially when you go on to consider that it is wholly in Manchester United’s interests to build the best relationship it can with it’s match going audience. They, after all are what makes the atmosphere at the ground so special and are the main ones that help to finance the debt still hanging around the neck of the club.
The whole tone of the email we find to be intimidatory and completely uncalled for. Surely the best approach to such a problem (if it really exists) is to work with and encourage the fans to attend earlier. As one fan, who we borrowed the email off, replied “If you cared about the delays at the turnstiles you’d stick more fully trained security staff on and serve competitively priced food and drink.” We really could not agree more.
The club really does seem to be trying it’s best to kill the atmosphere and camraderie amongst fans with its harsh new measures, especially for our away support. Often regarded as the best in the league and routinely cited as inspirational by players and managers, our away fans now face losing their membership and the future prospect of tickets if they even try to help their friends out with match tickets. They now also have to bring a form of ID and meet a pre-arranged venue near the away ground in question to be thoroughly checked by United staff before they are issued with their match ticket.
Worryingly, we also heard reports that club staff have also infiltrated fan forums and sites and purchased tickets from fans, at face value, and then banned or punished those fans who the ticket was originally in the name of. We can see absolutely no reason why United fans who cannot attend a match should be able to sell their ticket, at face value, to another United fan.
The club really does need to start taking a long, hard look at itself with its dealings with fans. The days of unrivalled success at United seem to be gone and with it those legendary season ticket waiting lists. Back then the club probably could afford to chuck a few fans out and not worry about replacing them but those days seem to be over. More and more fans are now starting to question their automatic renewal of season tickets, the club should be very aware not to kill its goose that lays the golden eggs.