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Manchester City defend PSG ticket prices following fan criticism

The ESPN FC team discuss the less than impressive Manchester derby this year, with Man United coming out victorious.

Manchester City have defended their ticket prices for the Champions League quarterfinal second leg with Paris Saint-Germain after criticism from fans.

The Premier League club reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history but there has been disappointment at the cost of tickets from supporters who could be charged up to £60 for a seat for the game on April 12.

The head of the Manchester City Supporters Club, Kevin Parker, said he was surprised by the prices the club had announced.

"There does seem to be a little bit of unease with the prices," he said. "I do think they are higher than we would have expected them to be for this game.

"The main reason for this would be that for previous games in the Champions League they have put the prices of the tickets quite competitively. So, on the back of these previous Champions League games, for the prices to shoot up to this level I think has come as quite a surprise.

"The club are probably pricing the game on that it is the quarterfinal of the Champions League. You would expect that game to come with a premium but I think the premium they have added is just a jump too much."

The Etihad Stadium had 10,000 empty seats for the round-of-16 second leg with Dynamo Kiev last week, although the tie was effectively over after a 3-1 first-leg win in Ukraine.

Despite this, City will hope for a 55,000-capacity sell-out and they say the ticket prices for the PSG clash reflect the status of the game.

The Etihad Stadium had 10,000 empty seats for the Champions League round-of-16 second leg with Dynamo Kiev.

A City statement read: "Pricing for each match is reviewed on an individual basis, based on factors such as the opposition and stage of competition.

"As this match is the quarterfinal of Europe's biggest cup competition and the first time the club has progressed to this stage, we believe the ticket prices are a fair reflection of the profile of the game, with adult Seasoncard and Cityzens member tickets priced from £40 and junior tickets from just £10."

The prices are similar to those City charged for the Barcelona games in the Champions League knockout stages for the past two seasons.

However, with a focus on ticket prices that has seen other clubs reduce their season ticket prices and away tickets frozen at a maximum of £30, Parker believes the club has missed a chance to make a positive statement to the fans.

He added: "I think you do have to take into account there is all this talk at the moment about clubs needing to be more mindful. It is also about what people can afford. We have played in the group stages and had a run to the final of the Capital One Cup -- that is a lot of money that fans have paid.

"These fans have been very loyal during the course of the season. I think the club have looked at the fact this is a quarterfinal between Manchester City and PSG and thought, 'OK, this is the right price level.'

"The prices they have come out with are probably about right -- but they haven't then built in the factor that we need to reduce prices because of all this talk lately. They don't seem to have added a reward factor into those ticket prices and reduced them."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.

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