City fans face Ajax price hike
Manchester City fans face a major ticket price hike for their Champions League trip to Ajax - who have justified it by claiming that City are a bigger draw than Real Madrid.
The Dutch champions are charging €80 (around £64) per ticket for the Group D match on October 24, €15 more than for their meeting with the Spanish giants last week.
City fans have argued that the price rise is a cynical ploy by their opponents to cash in on the club's large travelling support, with around 2,600 fans expected to make the journey to Amsterdam.
But an Ajax spokesman told the Manchester Evening News that the Premier League champions are a more exciting prospect than their Spanish counterparts.
"We admit that it is a lot of money," he said. "But the champions of the best league in the world are visiting Amsterdam.
"Of course, Real Madrid are top class as well, but this is the third year in a row that we are in the same group as Real. Therefore, they are one level lower in terms of the price scheme.
"The Ajax fans pay the same for that specific match against City. What I mean is if you take the same section of the stadium but at the other side or in another corner, you will see that the prices are the same as the away section."
Ian Arnfield, who runs the Bredbury Blues supporters club, which is taking two coaches of City fans to Amsterdam, was staggered by the price rise.
"They must think we are daft," he said. "I have been to thousands of games, I haven't missed a home one for 19 years and this is the most we have been charged.
"No City fan would ever come out and say something like that about Madrid because nobody is stupid enough to. Basically, they are trying to milk us and it's a disgrace."
City, who said they had not received any complaints from fans about the issue of the 80 euro tickets, are set to charge Ajax fans around half that amount for the return game at the Etihad on November 6.