BARCELONA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Manchester United have raised ticket prices for Sevilla fans by 35 pounds ($47) for the Champions League last 16 tie at Old Trafford to subsidise the cost of their supporters’ trip to Spain for the first leg.
Sevilla are charging Man United fans between 89 and 133 pounds to watch the game at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Feb. 21, which the English club considered excessive.
In an email to ticket holders for that game, United explained they would be refunding them 35 pounds, which is the difference between the 89 pound ticket price and the 54 pound priced Liverpool supporters were charged by Sevilla during the group stage of the competition.
“In this instance we believe that our travelling supporters are unfairly being subjected to increased/excessive ticket prices from the host club,” read Manchester United’s message, sent Wednesday.
“This has been raised with Sevilla, and internally, but ultimately Sevilla have not agreed to significantly lower the price of tickets for our fans to what we view as a reasonable level.
“Therefore we have taken the difficult decision to charge Sevilla fans for the return leg at Old Trafford the same amount as our fans have been charged for the away fixture.
“We have decided to increase the ticket prices for Sevilla fans for the game at Old Trafford, and use this increase to subsidise our fans, as we want this to act as a deterrent to future opponents who look to increase ticket prices for our travelling supporters.”
Manchester United said they would donate any additional revenue gained to the club’s charity foundation.
A source close to Sevilla told Reuters the Spanish club would pay the difference in cost for their fans between the initial prices and the new price, as well as reporting United to UEFA.
“Right now everything is hypothetical as United have not informed the club officially of the price rise,” added the source.
“Sevilla will demand through UEFA that United comply to the ticketing rules that tickets for home and away fans have a similar price for similar categories.
“Sevilla will inform UEFA that United have not complied with the rule that away teams are offered 5 per cent of the capacity in tickets, only offering 4.1 per cent.” ($1 = 0.7389 pounds) (Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)