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Man City banner gets confiscated after ticket price protest

A Man City banner unfurled by home fans at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon has been returned to a supporter's group after it was initially confiscated by stewards. The banner, which was being used by supporters to express their dissatisfaction at another season ticket price hike, was only visible for a brief period of time before stewards took it away.

The banner was made by City's 1894 Group and read: ‘Record profits but record prices. Stop exploiting our loyalty.' It comes after the club announced that they would be increasing season ticket prices by an average of 5% – a hike that has occurred in the majority of the last ten seasons at the Etihad Stadium.

Man City banner at the Etihad Stadium
Season ticket prices are set to rise by 5% at the Etihad Stadium next season – Photo by Icon Sport

The official line from the club is that the banner was removed as it covered advertising and part of a scoreboard at the stadium. However, as many City fans have pointed out on social media, similar interventions haven't occurred for club-friendly banners that have been unfurled over advertising boards in the past.

Man City have said that the banner will be returned to the 1894 Supporters Group but the group are interested in more than just that. They have said urged the club's hierarchy to ‘come out and start talking to the fans' rather than going all ‘defensive'. They are keen for a reversal in the season ticket price hike and for the club to settle on a freeze instead.

Football fans respond to Man City banner

Despite this being an issue that all football fans should agree on, Man City fans have perhaps made a rod for their own back in terms of their own attitude towards similar issues in the past. As a result, they have garnered very little sympathy from fans of other clubs.

Some rival fans were quick to point out that the banner was unfurled just metres away from another banner that reads ‘Sheikh Mansour, Manchester thanks you' while just last season City fans were serenading their owner regularly after they were alleged to have breached 115 financial fair play rules. Others, meanwhile, noted that the ‘record profits' the banner refers to might not actually be real.

The same group, the 1894, unfurled a banner in the same spot last season that read ‘Pannick on the streets of London' in reference to the lawyer that will help the Manchester City board fight the aforementioned charges. Now, the same board that they have worshipped are treating them with disdain.

Others were more positive about the protest. One fan said: “Big respect to the lads involved, this unfortunately just absolutely highlights why holding the club to account on this issue is so vital, they’re incredibly tone deaf when it suits.”

Another added: “Fair play to the people taking a stand on this, football fans being taken for a ride is on the rise.” A third posted: “This should be happening up and down the land. Hopefully, this will become more common


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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