Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) has amended the terms under which it sells one year season tickets[1] to the club’s home games at Old Trafford for the 2009-2010 season following an action taken by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the United Kingdom .

The action was taken following a complaint by the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) to the OFT highlighting two potentially unfair terms:

  1. An obligation imposed by MUFC on season ticket holders to buy tickets for all home cup games (knockout competitions on a game by game basis) but no reciprocal guarantee by MUFC to provide tickets for any of those games.

This led to a situation where for less important games, for example in the first round of the FA cup (the domestic cup competition), season ticket holders had to buy tickets and would more than likely get them but for a more important game, for example the semi-final of the Champions League (the European cup competition), the obligation was still prevalent but MUFC did not guarantee, and in fact did not, provide tickets to those persons who had under the obligation imposed purchased tickets to all the lesser important cup games.

This is inherently unfair and led to MUFC changing the terms so season ticket holders are now guaranteed to get tickets. The terms under which the obligation to buy have also been amended so where the obligation to purchase tickets is not fulfilled and a season ticket is cancelled a holder shall receive a pro rata refund for the number of league games remaining in that season.

  1. The compulsory purchase of tickets under the obligation imposed on season ticket holders lacked clarity in that, by the very nature of knock-out cup competitions, a season ticket holder could never be certain as to how much he or she would have to pay for a season ticket in total.

In response to this complaint MUFC has agreed to release more information on ticket prices and a possible cumulative maximum price for a season ticket.