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By ESPN Staff

Sunderland defend pricing policy

Sunderland have defended the decision to offer cut-price admission to Sunday's FA Cup third round clash with minnows Northwich Victoria.

The Conference North side have hit out at the pricing strategy which will see fans pay £10 and £5 for the match instead of the much higher usual charges for league fixtures, suggesting they will lose out as a result.

However, the Black Cats, who initially wanted to charge just £6 and £1 before the FA intervened, have explained their reasoning.

'We do understand and sympathise with Northwich's feelings on this matter,' chief executive Peter Walker told the club's website.

'But with the busy festive fixture period of four games in eight days, it is a very expensive time of year for supporters wishing to follow their team.

'Our request to reduce ticket prices for this game is in line with our pricing policy for previous seasons' League and FA Cup games, and is not something we have done simply because we are facing non-league opposition.'

Sunderland reduced ticket prices for the Carling Cup third round visit of Arsenal to the Stadium of Light on October 25 and attracted a crowd of 47,366, by far their biggest home attendance of the season.