United gave the concept of a ‘singing section’ a second trial in the 2-2 draw against Fulham in hopes of channelling the more vocal fans as one and sparking the rest of the stadium into making themselves know that way.
And if discussions, which are reported by the Daily Mail to include manager David Moyes, were to prove fruitful, it would see United replicate Premier League rivals Arsenal who themselves have a teenagers-only area at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners make up to a thousand seats available at £10 each for teenage supporters – though Category A games such as the Wednesday night visit of United themselves are excluded.
United supporters groups hope the idea could also help lower the average age of ticket-buying fans, with Premier League surveys suggesting the current average age is 41.
Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters Trust, explained: “The rising age profile of the Old Trafford crowd is now a common concern for fans and club alike.
“It undoubtedly already impacts on the atmosphere but also has serious implications for the long-term health of the club.
“The traditional lifecycle, starting with kids coming with their parents, then teens going with their mates and then as adults eventually bringing their own kids, has been disrupted for a variety of reasons.
“This needs a holistic approach from the club to re-instate this natural fan lifecycle for the benefit of fans and club alike.
“A crucial first step is to capture the current generation of teenage fans before they defect to alternative activities. If they aren’t hooked now you may lose them for life.
“Therefore a crucial first step is to establish a dedicated section of the ground for teenage fans to attend with their mates.
“It’s giving the customer what they want and that is what any ordinary business would strive to do – it is in the club’s own interest to make this happen.
“Prior to all-seater stadia these sections were created by the young fans themselves migrating to areas where they could gather together and build their own thing. It may sacrifice some short-term income but long term it pays huge dividends.
“Essentially what we want the club to think about is the lifetime value of a loyal fan and how it also makes business sense to invest resources into maximising junior and teen attendance for the future benefit of the club and fans.
“To that end the youth section is a crucial first step which could bring rapid returns for fans and club alike.”
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- David Moyes
- Manchester United