Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City have been criticised for amending their ticket policy ahead of the visit of Manchester United in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, according to the Bristol Post.
Jose Mourinho’s Premier League side visit Ashton Gate on Wednesday 20th December but, with the Club allocating the fixture as a gold catergory tie, their supporters will be forced to pay £33 for away tickets.
The Championship side have also reduced their away allocation for the English top-flight club, instead giving home supporters an extra 1,100 tickets.
Bristol City Chief Executive Mark Ashton said: “From the outset, we wanted to ensure as many of our loyal supporters as possible get the chance to get their hands on a ticket for a visit of Manchester United to Ashton Gate.
“That is why we’ve taken the decision to not fill the whole of the Atyeo Stand with away fans, even though it would have led to a bigger overall attendance. By doing so, we will be able to offer an extra 1,100 tickets to home fans.”
However the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust have since released their own statement following strong backlash to Bristol City’s decision.
“It is disappointing that Bristol City have taken the unusual step, for their club, of segregating the away stand in order to reduce the normal away allocation and admit over 1000 home fans to that stand in the place of Manchester United fans.
While we understand the increased demand for home tickets due to United being in town, the measure not only appears unfair to our large travelling support but also poses security issues.
“The Bristol City CEO appeared to crow about the away allocation being so heavily reduced. That only serves to make this issue more aggravating.
Taking away 1100 from the away end and giving them to people who are not regular Bristol City supporters (attendances throughout this competition to date have been much lower) will likely result in touting, more away fans in the home sections and more fans travelling ticketless.
“These outcomes fly in the face of the obvious logic that having away fans safely segregated in one away stand is the best approach to policing fixtures.
“We urge Bristol City to reconsider this decision and ask Manchester United to continue their efforts to support increased allocations, which have proved successful recently in seeing allocations increased at grounds such as Chelsea and Benfica.”