Manchester United fail to hit season-ticket target
Manchester United chief executive David Gill confirmed on Wednesday that the club failed to reach their target of season-ticket sales this summer.sports Updated: Sep 01, 2010 22:56 IST
Manchester United chief executive David Gill confirmed on Wednesday that the club failed to reach their target of season-ticket sales this summer.
United have sold 51,800 tickets against a target of 54,000, which Gill insisted was "pretty good" in the economic climate.
The fans' group the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) has urged supporters to boycott season tickets in an attempt to force the Glazer family to sell the club.
"Last year our target was 54,000 season tickets, we've sold 51,800, which is pretty good in the current climate," Gill said.
"We've sold more season tickets than the capacity of most Premier League grounds. Our executive seat sales are on track as compared with last year in a different market.
"I think the bare facts are that the club is in good financial shape. The ticket sales have held up. We sold out for Newcastle and West Ham (the two home games so far, both won 3-0) but we are not complacent and we've got to keep working to make sure that we fill the ground for every game and we'll do that by playing great football, attractive football, exciting football that brings fans in."
MUST is unhappy about the level of debt the club has taken on, which totals over 700 million pounds.
Gill refused to address reports that the Glazers' shopping mall empire in the US is facing financial problems.
Duncan Drasdo, the chief executive of MUST, insisted the figures represented a key shift away from the Glazers.
"We have clearly reached a tipping point in the Glazers' ownership," he said. "Up until this season they increased ticket prices aggressively every year and could get away with it because the loyal fans they forced out were replaced by others still prepared to pay the increased price.
"However this season, despite a ticket price freeze and an unprecedented marketing campaign, there are still thousands of season tickets and hospitality packages unsold.
"The failure to sell out season tickets is very significant as the Glazers depend on an excess of demand over supply to exert control over supporters," Drasdo said.