Manchester United manager Marc Skinner has called it ‘crazy’ that each club has been allocated only 8,000 tickets for next month’s Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley against Chelsea.
Tickets for the showpiece, the ninth to be held at Wembley, have been on sale for several months already, long before the identity of the finalists was known.
United booked their place in the final on Saturday with a dramatic late 3-2 win over Brighton, reaching that stage for the first time ever, while Chelsea made it three consecutive finals – in the hunt for three consecutive trophies – with their narrow win over Aston Villa a day later.
By the end of February, 40,000 final ‘neutral’ tickets had already been sold. That number reached 65,000 following the semi-finals, at which point it was then confirmed how many tickets would be handed to each club to sell directly to their own fans in dedicated areas.
Overall, the final is likely to be a sell-out and therefore potentially a world record attendance for a domestic women’s football match. But with only 8,000 going to each club, that will be just 16,000 directly represented in total in the 90,000-capacity stadium.
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“I can’t believe it,” Skinner honestly stated after the numbers were confirmed.
“I don’t know how many is in the men’s game and I don’t know how they allocate. But to give two massive clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United 8,000 tickets to sell is just crazy in my opinion.”
United fans in particular have earned a reputation in recent seasons for their vocal travelling support. And while up to 8,000 fans from each club will be seated together in their own areas, remaining supporters having to buy ‘neutral’ tickets could adversely affect the atmosphere if other sections of partisan fans end up being too spread out around the stadium.
Discussing the final itself, Skinner added, “It’s huge. We know we’re playing against Chelsea, who currently the best team – so we’ve got a lot of work to do. But we’ve got there on our own merit and we believe in ourselves. It will be difficult but it’s something we’re looking forward to.”