FC Midtjylland defend cost of £71 tickets for Manchester United clash
Published 17/02/2016 | 16:56
FC Midtjylland insist the price of tickets for Thursday's Europa League clash with Manchester United is "fair".
Fans are being charged £71 each to watch the last-32 first leg at the 11,800-capacity MCH Arena in Herning, Denmark, and United supporters are planning a protest against the cost during the match.
Southampton fans were charged just £22 when their team played Danish champions Midtjylland at the same venue in the Europa League play-off round in August.
Speaking at the ground on Wednesday at his press conference to preview Thursday's contest, Midtjylland boss Jess Thorup said: "I think this is probably the biggest game in the history of this club.
"And I am very satisfied the club have decided to play here - we could have moved the game to a bigger stadium to get more spectators and maybe earn some more money, but we decided to play here.
"I haven't heard a lot from our own fans about the price.
"Although I hear everyone is paying the same price, I think it is maybe a fair price.
"But I don't think I have to get into an argument about this. I hope, at least, that everybody gets some value for their money."
Thorup's comments echo those of Midtjylland sports director Claus Steinlein.
Steinlein, quoted earlier on Wednesday by Danish news agency Ritzaus Bureau, said: "Overall, we can say we could have sold over 50,000 tickets for this match. So in relation to supply and demand, the price might have been even higher.
"This is what it costs to see such a match. So I think, in fact, we have been fair, and we've certainly had no trouble selling tickets."
United have announced a travelling squad for the game that is missing a host of senior men, including Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini.
An injury crisis has forced boss Louis van Gaal to call up several young, inexperienced players such as Donald Love, Regan Poole, Joe Riley, James Weir and Will Keane - but Thorup is confident the Red Devils will pose his side a major threat no matter what line-up takes to the field.
"A lot of people will talk about Rooney and Fellaini missing, but for me it is more about how we go into the game tomorrow," Thorup said.
"It doesn't matter which kind of player, young or old, United put on the pitch - we have to be at our best and at 100 per cent to have a chance.
"Now maybe some guys are going to get their chance for United, and I don't know if it's a good thing (for Midtjylland) that they might play with a younger team."
Thorup does believe his players could take advantage of one of United's apparent weaknesses, though.
Both of Sunderland's goals in their 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Van Gaal's men on Saturday came from set-pieces.
And Thorup said: "Of course we have talked about it. We have noticed that and analysed that.
"We're pretty good at set-pieces so we will try to do that tomorrow. We know that games like this can be decided by set-pieces."