Manchester United are one of the world's biggest football clubs and, as a truly global brand, they are also one of the most well-supported clubs on the planet.
However, whilst they may have millions of fans scattered across all corners of the globe, they might have just alienated one who has been supporting the club for over 30 years.
That's after the Daily Mail reported today that the Old Trafford club has banned one fan, Graeme Clarke, from applying for away tickets for a full year. The reason given has led to something of a backlash.
According to the Mail's report, Mr. Clarke was informed via a letter from United that he won't be able to apply for tickets to watch Jose Mourinho's team on their travels for 12 months.
The reason? Because he fell ill on the morning of United's recent away game against Hull City and failed to inform the club that he wouldn't be travelling to the KCOM Stadium.
The Red Devils' head of ticketing and membership operations Sam Kelleher wrote in a letter dated September 23:
"Although we understand circumstances may occur where you are unable to attend a game you have purchased a ticket for, you are able to cancel your ticket and receive a refund via our contact centre.
"The club has worked extensively with the FA, Police and a number of local authorities to increase the allocation of match tickets we receive, and with thousands of unsuccessful applicants for each game, and we want to ensure each allocated ticket is used."
United also made clear that their policy had been laid out to fans at the beginning of the season.
Nevertheless, with Mr. Clarke's only crime being that he was too ill to attend, the Premier League club's decision has reportedly led to a backlash with fans branding freezing out a man who has had a season ticket for over 30 years as "disgraceful" and "disgusting".
The Manchester club are right in as much as their games are often over-subscribed and ticket allocations sell out in double quick time.
However, while they will have no trouble finding fans to cheer on the team at away games, their treatment of one loyal fan does seem a tad extreme.
You could understand if individuals were banned from applying for tickets due to getting in trouble at games or outside the ground. For being ill, though? That's a new one.
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