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May 4, 2011

United increase ticket prices

Manchester United are attempting to appease their supporters by pegging back ticket price rises to just £1 per match for next season.

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The club state the decision has been made to ensure the increase is a direct result of the rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, having absorbed the initial rise since the turn of the year. Other cost rises, such as players' wages, are not covered.

In addition, they have taken up an idea put forward by the Fans Forum to reduce ticket prices for 16- and 17-year-olds, capping them at £20 as part of the transition from a junior ticket to a full adult, with savings of up to 60%.

An Old Trafford insider told ESPNsoccernet: "The new transition price band for 16/17-year-olds is to ease the jump from junior (£10) to full adult (£28 to £50).

"The general ticket price rise is to cover VAT only. Season-ticket holders started getting their renewal letters yesterday [Tuesday], subject to Royal Mail, obviously."

The decision means supporters purchasing a top-price season ticket will pay £950 for a 19-match home Premier League programme, with Champions League and FA Cup matches, which must be bought as well, on top.

Although the decision will doubtless be greeted with dismay from fans groups, who claim United's increasing turnover should allow for a cut in prices, the club have pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, tickets under the Glazer regime have not increased as much as they did during the final years of the PLC.

Taking into account the new prices, and this season's freeze, United's tickets will have increased on average by 5.8% over the past six years since the Glazer family completed their controversial takeover.

This compares with an average 5.9% increase during the previous six years. United have also highlighted the increase of 6.5% for next season from this that was confirmed recently by Arsenal.

Matches at Old Trafford generally get somewhere near capacity, with the lowest crowd, other than for the Carling Cup fourth-round tie against Wolves in October, the 72,610 that watched United's Champions League win over Bursaspor, though tickets already paid for are taken into account for attendance figures.

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