Old Trafford like 'police state' - United fan

Old Trafford is like a "police state" which leaves supporters paralysed by fear, Colin Hendrie from the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association claimed on Wednesday.

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

Those comments have upset the IMUSA spokesman, who said: "I think he could benefit from sitting in the ground.

"You can't stand up to make a noise. If you try to stand up, you've got stewards who are ejecting you, they're taking your season ticket away from you. It's almost like a police state."

He added: "If you do stand up, people will take your arm, put it behind the back of your neck and throw you out of the ground.

"Under those circumstances, what atmosphere does he (Ferguson) want?

"The only atmosphere we've got is one where we're a little bit frightened of losing £1,000 for the season ticket we've paid for."

The noise level in the stadium as United laboured to a 1-0 win over Alex McLeish's strugglers on Tuesday was non-existent at times, a fact gleefully pointed out by the visiting fans.

Sitting in the directors' box as he completed a two-match touchline ban, the lack of atmosphere was even more noticeable to Ferguson.

So, just over seven years after former captain Roy Keane laid into United's 'prawn sandwich brigade', Ferguson had his say.

"The crowd were dead," complained the Scot. "It was like a funeral it was so quiet."

Hendrie revealed Ferguson's comments had not gone down well with his fellow fans.

"A lot of people are pretty upset, because it shows a lack of understanding about what it's like to be a football fan in 2008," he said on Sky Sports News.

"Fergie's going back to the days 10 years ago where it was absolutely fantastic, you could stand, but you can't do that now."

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