Large section of Old Trafford closed for Europa League tie

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Tickets for spare for United's return to European action
Tickets for spare for United's return to European action

Manchester United were always likely to struggle to sell tickets for their upcoming Europa League clash against Midtjylland and now it is being reported that they will shut a whole tier of a stand at Old Trafford due to lack of interest from fans.

United were dumped out of the Champions League at the group stages and were thrown into the Europa League in what many viewed as a punishment for their failure.

While United boss Louis van Gaal has insisted he will take the Europa League seriously and plans to field strong teams in the competition, the club's fans seem less than enthused by the prospect of Thursday night football.

Even though the winners of the Europa League are handed a place in next season's Champions League, United fear the attendance for their Europa League last-32 game against their unheralded Danish opponents might not hit the 60,000 mark.

The Daily Mirror are among those reporting that United are "set to close the 5,000-capacity third tier of the Sir Alex Ferguson stand for the match", which is due to take place on February 18th.

That after United tried to bolster ticket sales by reducing prices in all areas in the hope of attracting a bumper crowd.

It may be that United fans flock back to watch their team in action if they reach the latter stages of the Europa League, but this first taste of action in a competition no English team relishes has failed to set pulses racing.