MANCHESTER United were forced to defend their ticket policy last night after fans complained of being threatened with bans unless they bought seats for next month’s return leg against Olympiacos.
Some season-ticket holders received messages warning they would be barred from the Premier League derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford on 25 March if they did not fork out to see United try to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League tie six days earlier.
United’s policy obliges season-ticket holders to buy seats for all cup games, apart from those in the Capital One Cup and, for under-16s, the FA Cup. Those who do not ensure their payment card details are valid and current risk being suspended for one league game.
A club spokesman said: “We have consistently done this throughout this season. The terms and conditions are clear. This measure was introduced at the start of last season.”
It came as United resisted calls to sack manager David Moyes following Tuesday night’s defeat in Greece, their 11th loss of the Scot’s turbulent first season in charge.
United’s share price initially dropped yesterday to below $14.50 but rallied later in the day.
Rumours that Moyes was to be fired saw bookmakers cut the Scot to odds-on favourite to be the next Premier League boss ousted.
23 Number of additional points United had at this stage last season
£40m Cost of missing out on Champions League place
11 Defeats suffered already this season