Barcelona will face Manchester United in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on 10 April, but a different battle has already begun as the Spanish champions have announced that they will be charging United fans £102 per ticket for the second leg at Camp Nou on 16 April.
The Red Devils, in response, have taken a 'difficult decision' to charge the same price for the traveling support of La Blaugrana in the first leg of the tie.
However, United have also announced that they will subsidise the ticket price for Red Devils fans who travel to Barcelona for the second leg.
“We believe that our travelling supporters are again being subjected to increased/excessive ticket prices from the host club,” a statement on United's official website said. “We have again taken the difficult decision to charge Barcelona fans the same amount Barcelona are charging for the away fixture (£102). We will use the additional revenue gained to subsidise our travelling support by paying the £27 price difference.”
The €120 Barça are charging MUFC fans for Camp Nou is the most expensive ticket in MU's history outside of a final. MUFC will now increase cost of Barça's tickets at OT to €120...and use difference to subsidise ticket prices for travellers to Camp Nou down to £75.— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) March 20, 2019
United's decision to raise their prices means that the match against Barcelona at Old Trafford will be the most expensive United ticket outside of a final - though this isn't the first time the Red Devils have acted in a tit-for-tat manner in response to an unreasonable price hike in the Champions League.
Earlier this season United helped to subsidise away fans for the trip to Valencia in the group stages of the competition, while they also supported fans for the round of 16 first leg in Sevilla last season.
When will Uefa step in & introduce a price cap for Champions League away tickets to stop silliness like this? Fans already have to shell out hundreds for flights & hotels. The last thing they want is to be charged another £102/£72 for a match ticket. There should be a €40 limit https://t.co/azcbd3OK1v— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) March 20, 2019
The increase in ticket costs from Barcelona and United could trigger an intervention from UEFA, who investigated Anderlecht's price hike for their home clash against Bayern Munich last season to €100, whilst Liverpool also complained to the governing body last season after Porto charged Reds Supporters triple the cost of a home fan ticket for their Champions League match.