Last updated : 09 January 2003 By Editor

This story ran in the Evening News yesterday:

"United chiefs are to investigate what happened to hundreds of tickets that left supporters out in the cold.

Fans got to the Old Trafford ticket office up to an hour-and-a-half early for last night's (Tuesday) Worthington Cup semi-final first-leg tie after their tickets for the clash with Blackburn Rovers failed to show up.

Supporters had waited patiently for their match tickets to arrive, presuming they had been delayed in the Christmas post, but they never appeared.

Harry, 40, from Stalybridge, said: "They normally arrive three days after the draw has been made. We get Champions League tickets months in advance. It is a real pain having to stand around in the cold."

Paddy Harverson, the Reds' communications director, said a batch of "a couple of hundred" tickets for the North Stand had gone missing. He said the club had issued replacement tickets for everyone who had originally ordered them and they were available for collection last night.

He said: "We got in touch with everyone who was affected and provided them with replacement tickets."

He said it was not known what happened to the tickets but he would not rule out the club getting in touch with the police."

But United have struck back in a reply to Red News:

"The story which appeared in the MEN on January 8th under the headline "Ticket Fiasco - United fans left in cold" was a gross misrepresentation of the facts."

"At no point did fans have to queue outside in the cold, and not a single complaint was filed with the club."

"We endeavour to deal with such problems as efficiently as possible. In this particular case, our hard-working staff did an excellent job. A "fiasco" it most certainly wasn't."