Man Utd hit back at unhappy fans

Manchester United have hit back at a supporter's claim that Old Trafford is like a "police state" which leaves supporters paralysed by fear.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson compared the atmosphere at Tuesday's Premier League win over Birmingham to a funeral, urging fans to back the team more vocally.

Those comments have upset the IMUSA's Colin Hendrie, who accused Ferguson of "a lack of understanding" of the plight supporters face.

United themselves, however, rejected any notion that stewards have been asked to adopt a heavy-handed approach.

In the four games prior to Christmas - against Everton, Derby, Fulham and Sporting Lisbon - it is claimed that just three fans were ejected from Old Trafford in total.

A United spokesman said: "Any suggestion of an ejection policy for persistent standing is simply not borne out by the facts."

The club have also denied that the atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams is being muted by a high proportion of corporate fans - the assumed target of Roy Keane's infamous prawn sandwich jibe.

Of the 76,000 fans who can pack into the stadium, 86%, United claim, are fans paying the normal ticket price.

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