Football fan seeing red in Manchester United ticket row

Darron Abbott of Boston, who is threatening to sue Manchester United FC about changing his season ticket.
Darron Abbott of Boston, who is threatening to sue Manchester United FC about changing his season ticket.

A BOSTON football fan is preparing to show Manchester United the red card, after he discovered what he believed to be foul play with his season ticket.

Life-long supporter Darron Abbott has threatened legal action against the Premier League club following news that he and other season ticket holders sitting in Old Trafford’s Sir Alex Ferguson Stand may be asked to move to a stand which routinely houses away fans.

The London Road resident, who regularly makes the 300-mile round trip to the club’s Old Trafford ground, claims the move is against the terms and conditions of the season ticket and is purely financial motivated, as the club will be able to charge more for the alternative seats, and says he has the support of his fellow supporters in the matter.

He told The Standard: “We try to follow them and, to me, this is a bit of a kick in the teeth. At the start of the season they say we can have these seats, then, as and when it suits, they want them back.

“We chose to have these seats. We picked them because it’s a very good view of the pitch, it’s reasonably priced and we’re all friends up there.

“We’re not happy with this. We bought these seats and we are very happy up there. I’ve had mine for ten years.”

At a United match earlier this week, club manager Sir Alex Ferguson was asked about his view on the changing seat plan. Darron said it showed that he and his fellow supporters had ‘rattled some cages’.

Darron has been an avid red since he was a child. He remembers his parents taking him from Swineshead to Belle Vue dog track to see the European Cup winning team of 1968, and his Uncle Herbert collecting programmes for him when he was very small.

“I’ve been absolutely stupid about them since then,” he said.

The club has hit back at the claims made against it, saying the move had the support of the majority of fans and adding that those who are moved will be in better seats closer to the action.

A spokesman said: “There is no certainty that it will be adopted on an ongoing basis – that will depend on the result of the trial – but all the fans being moved are getting a better seat and some vouchers as a gesture of goodwill and a thanks for their co-operation. Our motive is to try and find the best arrangement of seats for United fans and the team, who value the fans’ support enormously.

“We’re sorry this fan feels this way, but we believe we’ve done everything we can to address the concerns fans may have.”