Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have released a statement threatening Hammersmith and Fulham Council with legal action due to reduced ticket allocations for the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
In a letter written by ITN Solicitors on behalf of MUST, they ask the Council to ‘issue a fresh Safety Certificate for the above fixture (Chelsea FC V Manchester United FC) with allowance for the full ticket allocation of 3000 MUFC fans.’
Currently the allocation for United fans stands at Stamford Bridge is 2,370 due to ‘policing concerns’, which is a massive reduction on the full allocation of 2,994.
These ‘policing concerns’ seem to lean on the rearranged day and kick off time. Due to Champions League duties for Chelsea, the game has been moved forward from 16:30 on Sunday 23rd October to 17:30 on Saturday 22nd October, all this despite this fixture not seen as ‘high risk’ for trouble by the Met.
This has led to the threat of legal action by MUST and a spokesperson from the supporters group to say ‘For a supporters trust to engage lawyers is always a last resort, but enough is enough. Tickets have been sold for this game and fans are being treated like second class citizens.’
Man Utd Supporters Trust spokesman: ‘For a supporters trust to engage lawyers is always a last resort, but enough is enough. Tickets had been sold for this game and fans are being treated like second-class citizens.’ #mufc
— Chris Wheeler (@ChrisWheelerDM) October 13, 2022
The spokesperson went on to add: ‘United fans and football supporters in general have had their fill of being on the receiving end of unfair and irrational decisions by councils and the police, who seem to consider us to be a public order problem rather than ordinary people freely enjoying a day out.’
Chelsea supporters trust have also stood behind MUST in this action, although interestingly they appear to have their own battle, with ticket sales for the fixture currently postponed due to ‘system issues’ in Chelsea’s ticketing system.
This is certainly not the first time United fans have been on the receiving end of reduced ticket allocations for away games.
Manchester City have reduced the amount of tickets for United fans recently as have other clubs such as Liverpool, sometimes citing policing as an issue, others, as with City, claiming persistent standing by United fans leads to an unsafe environment.
United themselves have cut away fans allocations, Liverpool had their allocation cut by 1000 nearly ten years ago now due to safety concerns.
For MUST to threaten this action shows that they are serious about this and hopefully sets a precedent moving forward for other supporters groups to follow suit if they feel they are being unfairly treated.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council have 48 hours to respond to the letter otherwise legal action will start.
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