Manchester United support aim to complete Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA 2019/20 competitions

United issue statement backing "collective intent" to wrap up campaign and give advice to season-ticket holders

Manchester United celebrate Marcus Rashford's first goal against Norwich on Saturday
Image: Manchester United have issued a statement saying the club supports the aim to complete the 2019/20 season

Manchester United say they support the ambition of English football's governing bodies to try to complete the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA competition seasons, amid the disruption caused by coronavirus.

"The club fully supports the collective intent to complete the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA club competitions", the club said in a statement discussing contingency plans for season ticket holders if games are to be played behind closed doors, once and if the season resumes.

The Premier League, as well as the EFL, took the decision earlier in March to suspend English football until April 30 at the earliest, and the PFA is set to meet officials of both bodies on Friday to hold talks about the financial implications surrounding the continued shutdown.

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Top-flight clubs are considering cost-cutting measures amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Some EFL sides have already enforced such policies, like Leeds United, whose players, management and senior staff have volunteered to defer wages to enable non-football staff to be paid.

Burnley have confirmed they will pay all part-time and full-time matchday and non-matchday staff for the duration of the disrupted period, while Birmingham's players have also been asked to waive 50 per cent of their salaries.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has confirmed the union is exploring the possibility of financial support for players in lower divisions.

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'We must all play our part in the efforts to combat coronavirus'

Regarding season tickets, United say that if matches are unable to be played or need to be played behind closed doors, the club will offer "a pro-rata rebate against their season tickets for next year", or "a pro-rata cash refund based on the number of games still to be played."

The club also confirm that this will apply to "supporters who have paid in advance for general admission tickets or matchday VIP packages for the games that could be impacted this season", and state that if matches are played as normal, all tickets will remain valid.

United's season ticket renewal deadline of May 1 has been suspended.

Group managing director Richard Arnold said: "We appreciate the patience and the support we have had from our fans throughout this challenging time and welcome the constructive discussions we have had with MUST (Manchester United Supporters Trust) and fan representatives.

"We know our fans will not want to miss any games played in the coming months and will be disappointed if that is to be the case, but clearly we must all play our part in the efforts to combat coronavirus.

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
Image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent a joint letter to United fans earlier this week, asking them to stay at home and stay safe amid the coronavirus outbreak

"By pushing the season ticket renewal deadline back and confirming our policy if games were to be cancelled or played behind closed doors, we want to ease any concerns our loyal fans may have in the current circumstances.

"They give Manchester United their support year after year, and at this time, we are committed to supporting them. Our message to them is clear - we are all in this together.

"We will continue to keep fans updated with any developments and, in the meantime, we encourage them to keep following the latest health advice and Government guidelines.

"As Ole and Casey said in their statement this week, stay safe, stay home and we hope to see you soon."

Last week, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said that the club will pay their casual workers for Premier League games for the rest of the season should games be played behind closed doors or cancelled.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United Women manager Casey Stoney wrote a letter to all supporters on Tuesday, urging them to follow government advice and stay at home, and offering their support and best wishes to those directly affected by COVID-19.

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