• Community Shield

Wigan sell only 4000 tickets for Wembley showpiece

ESPN staff
August 7, 2013

The traditional season-opener at Wembley, the Community Shield, could be played out against a backdrop of swathes of empty seats after it was revealed that Wigan have only sold 4000 tickets for the match against Manchester United.

Wigan, one of the poorest-supported sides in the top flight before their relegation last season, were offered 15,000 tickets but only took up 7500 and the club has failed to shift even that number. The only solace for the FA is that Manchester United quickly sold the 38,000 they were allocated and have almost disposed of an additional 7500 they were subsequently granted.

There is a fear the fixture is becoming stale in a era of so much top football, and the appeal of a side like Wigan to neutrals is very limited.

Last season the match was played at Villa Park because of Wembley being needed for the London Olympics and only around 37,000 attended. And even though the 2011 match was between two high-profile teams - Manchester City and Chelsea - Wembley was still more than 12,000 below its capacity.

The FA remains bullish and expects a crowd of almost 80,000. As well as United's extra take-up, around 20,000 tickets are allocated to Club Wembley season ticket holders with other going to FA partners and sponsors.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd