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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Man Utd defend cup ticket policy
Manchester United tickets
Man Utd have a 14,000 waiting list for season tickets
Manchester United have defended a new policy which forces season-ticket holders to buy tickets for cup matches.

Fans have criticised the automatic cup ticket scheme, which is compulsory for season-ticket renewals this season.

Under the scheme, fans are issued and billed for cup-match tickets whether they want them or not.

A United spokesman said:"Three-quarters of our fans were signed up anyway, and of the remaining 25%, all went to at least one cup game last season."

The automatic cup ticket scheme (ACT) will provide season ticket holders with tickets for all Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup matches at Old Trafford.

Supporters claim the scheme is a move to guarantee income from games against less attractive opposition and could potentially add another 380 to the cost of their season ticket.

The United spokesman said: "All we've done is redefine what a season is, away from purely a League season, to be a whole season."

The scheme follows an average Old Trafford season-ticket price rise of 14% this year.

United fan Stuart Parrish accused the club of exploiting their loyalty, arguing the scheme provided fans with no benefits.

"We should be able to choose whether we want tickets for cup games or not," said Parrish.

The United spokesman said fans who did not want their tickets for cup matches would be able to dispose of them in the club's ticket exchange, where they would be able to sell them for face value to other members.

Disgruntled United fans who have opted not to renew their season ticket in protest, have set up a website to encourage others to join a boycott.

The United spokesman added: "We've a waiting list of 14,000 for season tickets and we regularly turned 5,000 people away for Premiership games last season."

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