Manchester United have apologised to supporters after huge numbers of Galatasaray fans bought corporate hospitality tickets and packed out Old Trafford.
The Turkish side visited United on Wednesday and earned a 3-2 victory in the Champions League.
It was soon apparent a significant amount of Galatasaray fans were seated outside the away allocation. The visitors only took 2,200 of the 4,000 tickets on offer and the game was subsequently deemed low risk by United.
Chief operating officer Collette Roche said bots were responsible for fooling United into believing tickets had been purchased by official members when that was not the case. Many were also under the age of 16.
Roche added: “Our system showed that these tickets were predominantly sold to long-standing official members who have attended other matches in recent seasons, with a large percentage being to those under the age 16, and therefore did not appear in pre-match checks to pose any risk.
“In reality, those who turned up on the night were adult Galatasaray fans.
“Whilst this [club’s current sales policy] hasn’t presented issues in the last couple of decades, the volume of tickets accessed by non-Turkish residents who transpired to be Galatasaray fans was unacceptable.
“I hope the above update gives you some reassurance that we take this matter seriously and are working with our fan representatives to avoid a potential repeat. I apologise to those affected and thank you as always for your continued support.”
United managed to dispel some of the anxiety caused by their many off-field issues by getting back to winning ways on Saturday with a dramatic 2-1 win over Brentford. Scott McTominay struck twice late on to earn the Red Devils their fourth Premier League victory of the season.
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