Man Utd forced to slash capacity for Carabao Cup clash against Burnley by 12,000 due to ambulance strikes
MANCHESTER UNITED have been forced to scrap thousands of tickets for their Carabao Cup tie with Burnley later this month.
The Red Devils‘ first game after the World Cup break comes on December 21 when they welcome the Championship leaders to Old Trafford.
GettyMan Utd have reduced Old Trafford’s capacity by 12,000 for the Burnley clash[/caption]
But they will only be able to welcome a maximum capacity of 62,000 for the match due to a lack of ambulance service availability following strike announcements.
Three unions, representing around 25,000 ambulance workers, will walk out in a coordinated strike on the day of the game.
The Theatre of Dreams ordinarily holds more than 74,000 people.
A club statement released on Thursday read: “Due to the unavailability of ambulance service personnel as a result of a day of industrial action affecting North West Ambulance Service taking place on Wednesday 21 December, the club has been advised by safety authorities to reduce the capacity of our Carabao Cup fixture against Burnley.
“The club has worked hard to develop a medical plan which will enable us to allow approximately 62,000 fans to be in attendance, but with West Stand tier 2 and North Stand tier 3 required to be closed.
“These areas were the only possible options for achieving the required reduction whilst meeting the robust medical plan requested by the authorities.
“It was not possible to move the match to another date due to the unavailability of other key public services and matchday staff over the Christmas period, the conclusion of stadium works during the World Cup break, as well as the existing fixture schedule of both teams.
“Everyone at Manchester United shares the inevitable disappointment caused by this news, particularly to those ticket holders who will be impacted. However, the safety of our fans is always our priority.
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“As the match is currently sold out, we have written to fans tonight in the affected areas offering the option of a full refund.
“No action is required from fans with tickets in other areas of the ground at this time. We will provide a further update tomorrow detailing next steps.
“We will do our utmost to relocate anyone who is impacted and has not chosen to accept a refund, prioritising Full and Cup Season Ticket holders.”
Meanwhile, Man Utd prepared for their return to domestic action with a behind-closed-doors friendly against Everton at Carrington on Wednesday.
And it ended with Erik ten Hag‘s side playing out a 1-1 draw with Frank Lampard’s men.
It was a small improvement for United after they suffered defeats to Cadiz CF and Real Betis while on a training camp in Spain last week.