Almost two-thirds of Manchester United season ticket holders are considering not renewing according to survey results released by Virgin Money today. It comes as the club looks increasingly desperate to attract new buyers with an internet marketing campaign to sign up fans for a non-existent ‘waiting list’ at Old Trafford.
The survey of more than 3,000 fans from across 92 professional clubs concludes that Untied fans are most likely to give up season tickets next season, with standard season ticket prices up 50 per cent during the Glazer family’s five-year tenure at the club. Aggregate ticket revenue has doubled during the same period.
The Football Fans’ Inflation Index said 15 per cent of United fans will give up going to games altogether, with another 44 per cent buying tickets on an ad hoc basis.
“Shamefully Manchester United was the only Premier League club that put up their prices for the current season. Every other club froze or reduced them,” said Malcolm Clarke, Chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation.
“Huge numbers of United fans are in open revolt against the Glazer family’s huge cash drain on the club. They’re paying the price for the leveraged buy-out in 2005 that has loaded a massive £700 million debt onto United’s books.
“The Glazer regime has put up ticket prices by half in less than five years. No wonder almost six out of 10 Old Trafford season ticket holders are thinking of not renewing.”
With the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) rapidly building membership it is probable the organisation will ask fans not to renew tickets for next season to force the Glazer family out of the club.
Meanwhile, United yesterday began an email marketing campaign, calling on fans to “join the season ticket waiting list” by registering their interest. The total number of season tickets has dropped to around 55,000 from an all time high of well over 60,000.
MUST has estimated around 15,000 season ticket holders may not renew for 2010/11. The Virgin Money survey suggests MUST has vastly underestimated fans’ disillusionment.