Liverpool may reduce tickets for Manchester United fans

image captionThe committee is set to approve the away fan allocation from from more than 3,000 to 1,965

Manchester United fans may have their ticket allocation for their next trip to Anfield cut by more than 1,000 amid safety concerns.

Liverpool City Council's Licensing Committee has proposed reducing tickets because United fans have stood in seating areas and blocked stairways.

It said at a game between the teams in March the gangways at Anfield could not be kept clear of away supporters.

The proposals are expected to be approved at a meeting next month.

The committee will be asked to approve reducing the number of available tickets from more than 3,000 to 1,965 for the game on 15 October.

'Better stewarding'

The issue was raised at a meeting of the Ground Safety Advisory Group, which heard in spite of efforts of stewards to reduce standing, the gangways could not be kept clear throughout the last game.

It heard the actions of United fans had overwhelmed stewards and that the level of standing had reached a level that Liverpool Football Club's safety management plan was unable to address.

United fan Andrew Kilduff, from independent supporters group Stretford End Flags, said if the plan went ahead it would hit fans hard.

"If you look up and down the country, standing is rife amongst the away fans, it's not just a Manchester United issue, it's an issue which affects all football fans."

He added: "People in the reduced allocation are still going to stand, there is better ways of tackling the problem than by reducing allocation.

"Some clubs have stewards in the gangways and in the aisles. At Anfield you are never asked to sit down, they do make an announcement every now and then over the tannoy, but that just goes unnoticed."

'Strange decision'

Liverpool fan Gareth Roberts, from Well Red Magazine, said he thought it would be a "strange decision".

He said: "Anyone who goes to Anfield regularly will tell you that there is a section of the Kop that stands regularly.

"As much as it pains me to say it, I don't know why Man United fans are being targeted in this instance.

"Basically any away end of any team that has a big away following, they stand up."

He added: "Liverpool have paid the price for that as well, we have had our allocation reduced at Sunderland a couple of times.

"It's certainly not just United fans that do it."

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