Manchester United's ticket price increases are more than FOUR TIMES bigger than the club originally intended, according to documents leaked to the Manchester Evening News.
And the fact that the Glazer family has ripped up its initial plan to peg back prices this summer has been slammed as a cynical attempt to cash in on the club's success this season.
The documents also indicate that this year's whopping increases will not be the last, as the club has stated that it intends to `maximise revenue generated through ticket prices and enhanced stadium facility.'
That indicates that prices will continue to rise until empty seats begin to appear at Old Trafford.
Last summer, the Glazer family was only intending to put prices up by 2.5 per cent this year, after introducing a huge hike of 12.5 per cent in their first year of ownership.
But the family ignored that business plan and instead came up with an average increase of more than 10 per cent with prices in some areas of the ground rising as high as 14 per cent.
That increase ignored calls from supporters' groups, MPs and other bodies within the game for the huge influx of money from the Premier League's bumper overseas TV rights deal to be used to peg back ticket prices.
But the United Supporters' Trust, MUST, believes the Glazers are playing a dangerous game by toying with fan loyalty.
A spokesman for the group said: "Many of our members have complained about these huge price rises for the third season running. Paying another 14% on top of last year's rise will prevent many of them from renewing their season tickets.
"If you add on to that the cost of the compulsory automatic cup scheme, which could be £250 a year or more, going to Old Trafford is becoming unaffordable for many traditional supporters.
"There is also resentment about the way their love and loyalty towards the club is being exploited under the Glazers' ownership when the club is making so much money out of the new TV deal and sponsorships.
"It seems clear from these leaked documents that the Glazers decided that they could get away with higher increases than originally planned, because Sir Alex has done such a fantastic job with the team producing the most exciting football at Old Trafford for years and winning the league in some style.
"From the murmurings we are hearing from United season ticket holders, the Glazers may well be misjudging just how far they can push things. They seem not to care about the fans if they can treat loyal supporters in this way."
United have flown in the face of current football trends, with Manchester City freezing their prices and clubs such as Bolton and Blackburn reducing the cost of some tickets. The spiralling cost of Premiership football has brought a fightback in the game, with the MEN's own `Make it Fair for Fans' campaign receiving widespread backing, including from sports minister Richard Caborn, PFA head Gordon Taylor and England boss Steve McClaren.
Asked to comment on the contents of the document and on the discontent among many fans over the price rises, a Glazer spokesman said: "We won't comment on these matters beyond saying that ticket prices represent excellent value for fans."
A United spokesman followed the same line, adding: "We believe that the prices we have set reflect not only demand for tickets at Old Trafford but also represents good value in the context of Premier League football."