Archive → June 29th, 2011
In past by this time of year the manutd.com website would read. ‘Season tickets sold out’ For the second year running that isn’t the case. Last year after all the renewals and the ’25,000 strong season ticket waiting list’ 4,000 season tickets went on general sale. When United say they’ve sold 50,000 tickets that might seem great but in 2008-2009 they sold 64,000 season tickets. That’s 14,000 down.
Because of last seasons the 19th Title and a European Cup Final place the owners believe they can get away with putting the price of the tickets up. They likely believe the ‘movement’ against them has gone away but in reality it’s moved to a different stage. One where new background options after years or protesting might have paid off in the short term. For most season ticket holders buying next seasons ticket it wasn’t about the Glazers or the ‘movement, although that will have had an effect. It’s the cost. At a time when prices have risen and people have lost their jobs, seeing your season ticket increase by £19 will be the final straw for many fans. They simply cannot afford it, that’s not only at United it’s at many clubs. I know a number of fans who haven’t renewed this year but did last year and it shows success does not guarantee bums on seats. This might seem strange but there a lot of people who don’t watch United because of success. United during the 1970s and 1980s had little success but am sure there are a lot of fans out there would cut off their right arm to go back with a few changes.
What’s been reported from the social networking sites, forums and United blogs paints a small picture of what I think is going on behind the scenes at the ticket office. PR for United and the Glazers has been become a huge thing and last season United found out the ‘waiting list’ was a complete failure. I’ve been quiet about this over the last few weeks but it’s been reported in a number of places now. Texts, emails and phone calls. It seems the club are first targeting existing season ticket holders to buy extra tickets and ex-holders who aren’t on any waiting list to buy tickets. As a PR exercise the last thing United want to do is tell the press there are another 4,000 tickets on general sale. If United could hard sell tickets to existing and ex holders and members not on the waiting list over the next week or so, they can then use the ‘waiting list’ as brilliant PR piece. I can see it now David Gill ‘We sold 54,000 tickets and have a 20,000 strong waiting list’ A waiting list they had no intention to sell season tickets too unless forced to. The only other thing is they have used the waiting list already, set a deadline and the first set of replies have been poor as the season before was. I doubt this is the case but it’s possible.
Another big thing is the finance option United have offered on season tickets, I love to know just how many fans used this option and from what I’ve seen many have used this option. Using this option really does show in 2011 it’s not just the Glazers using debt to buy something they can’t afford but the fans have also been forced to use debt to fund the Glazers prices increases.