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Manchester United fans write to club about Old Trafford atmosphere

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MANCHESTER -- Manchester United supporters have called on the club to help improve the atmosphere at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) have written an open letter detailing ways to improve the atmosphere inside the stadium following criticism from manager Jose Mourinho.

The letter, addressed to group managing director Richard Arnold, says "expansion [of Old Trafford] is essential to fully address the key issues" but also outlines "interim measures" that can be put in place more quickly.

They include removing executive seats in the Stretford End, relocating the Family Stand, allowing groups of supporters to sit together, reducing ticket prices for younger fans and pushing ahead with safe standing.

The letter reads: "As you know the atmosphere in the stadium is a key issue for supporters and also for the manager and the team.

"We are keen to push ahead as quickly as possible on discussion of interim measures which will produce progress while we await the major stadium development that is so badly needed.

Jose Mourinho has drawn attention to the atmosphere at Old Trafford.

"While we understand that the issue of stadium expansion at Old Trafford remains under active consideration, and that a firm decision has not yet been made on whether the investment will be made into a significant capacity increase, we recognise the major financial, technological and logistical challenges this presents.

"For that reason, in this letter, we intend to concentrate primarily on interim measures which could be taken to improve atmosphere and develop the stadium in the absence of expansion."

Mourinho has been critical of the atmosphere at Old Trafford since taking over from Louis van Gaal in 2016.

He has repeatedly called on United's home fans to be more vocal and following the 2-0 win over Huddersfield on Feb. 3, the 55-year-old branded the stadium "quiet."

"I think Old Trafford, in spite of being a quiet stadium, the pitch is big, the grass is nice and obviously the players feel very comfortable playing here," he said.

"I remember Portsmouth, such a small stadium, the atmosphere was absolutely incredible."

Mourinho also criticised fans following a 2-0 win over Leicester in August.

He said: "I saw the ball in the net and all the guys jumping around. It was the first time I saw the crowd. They were very quiet. It was easy to know that was a goal because it was the first time I really understood the stadium was full."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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