Manchester United have frozen ticket prices for the seventh season in a row and will introduce a £15 ticket in the Stretford End for fans aged between 18 and 25 next season.
Jose Mourinho has repeatedly criticised the Old Trafford atmosphere this season, noting following the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace that the away end at Selhurst Park should be given free tickets for games at home.
A singing section in the area normally designated for away supporters was recently tested out for Man United’s 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup, and was met with a positive response.
And group managing director Richard Arnold has told the club’s website that the new ticket for younger fans is geared towards further improving the atmosphere at Old Trafford.
“The club enjoys unparalleled support and we recognise the sacrifice many fans make to watch the team home and away,” he said.
“Continuing the freeze in match and season tickets for next season is driven by our belief in supporting fans attending our games.
“The introduction of reduced ticket prices for young adults in the Stretford End lower tier stems from suggestions generated by fan groups through our Fans’ Forum, aimed at building on the tradition of vibrant support.”
United have introduced further measures for next season which aim at optimising the interaction of young supporters with the club. The season ticket price for Under 16s will be reduced to £180 – or £10 a game – for example, while tickets for Under 18s and over 65s will be reduced to half price (£14 a game).
25% discounts will be available for supporters between the age of 18 and 20, while tickets for Carabao Cup matches will also receive a 25% reduction.
Arnold and his team deserve enormous credit for taking steps to make visiting Old Trafford affordable for the younger generation. The core base of supporters are too often priced out of Premier League games in this country, while other countries like Germany or Italy make going to games doable for more or less anyone. The £15 ticket will, no doubt, attract plenty of interest and generate better noise inside the ground.