Man United fans complain about Chelsea ticket cuts

A group of Manchester United fans have complained to a local government in London after more than 600 fans canceled their tickets to the forthcoming Premier League game against Chelsea over police concerns.

Supporters learned last week of the decision to reduce the number to 2,370 from 2,994, despite tickets already having been bought for the game at Stamford Bridge on October 22. Lawyers working on behalf of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust have sent a letter to Hammersmith and Fulham Council asking them to issue a new safety certificate to allow all fans to attend the game. “United fans and football fans in general are fed up with being the victims of unfair and irrational decisions by councils and the police who seem to see us as a public order issue rather than normal people enjoying a day off,” said the als MUST known fan group on Thursday.

“Tickets have been sold for this game and the fans are treated like second-class citizens.” The game was originally due to be played on October 23 but had to be brought forward by a day due to Chelsea’s involvement in the Champions League on October 25. London’s Metropolitan Police say the 5:30pm start time raised the game’s risk rating.

“Our first priority in policing football – and the rise in crime and disorder that comes with it – is the safety of fans and those who live and work in the local community,” police said. “This can require significant resources and we need to balance that commitment against our many other policing duties across London.”

“It is for this reason that there is an agreement between the Met and London clubs that matches deemed high risk should start before 4.45pm at weekends to keep people safe.” United wrote to fans last week to update them to inform the situation. “While we are very disappointed with this result and feel it is unjustified, it is clear that this is a final decision,” the club wrote. “In recent years we have made significant strides in protecting away ticket quotas for our fans and we can assure you that we will continue to fight for this in the future.”

In the legal letter to the council issued by Lochlinn Parker, fans argue: “There is no reasonable reason to reduce ticket allocations for away fans at 5:30pm if it is accepted that there would be a full ticket allocation at a match that was not later than 4.45pm.” Hammersmith and Fulham Council said the decision to limit the number of away fans at the game was taken on police advice.

“We wrote to Chelsea FC over the summer expressing our concerns about the timing of this game,” the council said. “It is disappointing that the football authorities have not been able to change the kick-off time to allow full ticket allocation for the traveling fans.” A Chelsea supporters’ group also criticized the delay and postponement of the game time. “Kick-off announced with 15 days’ notice and away quota reduced,” said Chelsea Supporters’ Trust.

“This confirms that fans are available as long as the game can be broadcast – this is an insult and a dangerous precedent. We stand behind MUST and the 624 supporters whose tickets are being cancelled.”

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