Man United misses season ticket sales target after boycott

MANCHESTER United failed to reach their target for season ticket sales this summer, after a campaign by a fans’ group to boycott the tickets.

The club’s chief executive David Gill said it has sold 51,800 compared to a target of 54,000, but that executive sales were “on track”, in a press interview yesterday.

“I think the bare facts are that the club is in good financial shape,” said Gill. He added: “We sold out for Newcastle and West Ham but we are not complacent and we’ve got to keep working to make sure that we fill the ground for every game and we’ll do that by playing great football, attractive football, exciting football that brings fans in.”

The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) had urged fans to miss out on season tickets this year in an attempt to force the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, to sell up.

MUST is unhappy about the £700m debt hanging over the club, and has voiced concerns that the proceeds of United’s £500m bond sale last season is being spent on repayments rather than on improving the team’s performance.

Gill refused to comment on the club’s plans for the bond proceeds, but said:?“We have put in place a long-term financial structure for the club with the bond, obviously that’s serviced on a regular basis. I don’t think it impacts us at all. So I think we’ve got to be comfortable.”

Last season the club would have made a loss if it hadn’t sold star player Cristiano Ronaldo for a world record fee of £80m.