It’s been a successful season on the pitch and a mixed one off the pitch, when it comes toUnited’s ticket allocations.
On the plus side, we’ve seen continued good relations between United fans’ groups and
some police forces, some councils and some opposition clubs, but that cannot be said forothers as the pages below show.The season started well for United allocations, but took a turn for the worst due to howauthorities viewed behaviour at Newcastle, Chelsea in the League Cup, Norwich andSwansea.We experienced allocation restrictions (to lesser or larger degrees) at eight of 22 domesticaway games and we anticipate that of the 19 Premier League trips next season, we will,again, not have full allocations at Manchester City, Tottenham or Sunderland, though weexpect it to be increased at Everton, Liverpool and West Ham.Three new challenges we noticed this season are 1) police have taken a zero-toleranceapproach to the use of flares and smoke bombs inside grounds, 2) decision-makingauthori
ties setting allocations based on how others perceived our fans’ behaviour elsewhere
in the country and 3) authorities threatening to cut allocations if the match kicks off at 17:30on a Saturday.
On the plus side, fans’ group are not only linking up with
other supporter organisationsacross the UK more and more
for everyone’s gain –
but are also using a vast armoury of tactics to discover information and to represent matchgoing fans.We held United to account when they tried to improperly sell away-end tickets for the Citygame to executive
members and we exposed Newham Council’s bizarre practises when it
came to dealing with their own decision-making processes.
Most importantly, I’m confident we’re making progress season by season in persuading
authorities that we are best placed to help them keep stadia safe.But there is an onus on fans to do their bit: Evidence shows that, the more we abide by rulesthat, in reality, have no impact on the atmosphere (keeping aisles clear, for example) thebigger the allocations we get.
Let’s hope these allocations keep increasing as time goes on.