Old Trafford atmosphere is suffering from being ‘tourist central’, claims Joey Barton

by Harry Robinson

Joey Barton has claimed that Manchester United’s home support is suffering greatly from tourists and day-trippers.

His comments come in the aftermath of Man United manager Jose Mourinho claiming that Old Trafford’s atmosphere is “quiet” at the moment.

It’s not the first time Mourinho has aimed a swipe at United’s home support, which has gradually worsened in the last two decades due to a changing demographic of match-going supporters, changes made to the stadium by the club and restrictions from the club on certain things, such as standing in seated areas.

“Old Trafford is tourist central, but most grounds are now,” Barton told talkSPORT.

The former-Liverpool player suggested that it’s not down solely to the United fans, basing that assumption on the brilliance of the Reds’ away support. Simultaneously, he criticised his ex-club Liverpool’s home support, despite its famed reputation.

“To be fair to United, whenever I’ve seen them play away I’d say they’ve got the best travelling support in the country,” Barton said.

“Liverpool fans sing You’ll Never Walk Alone at the start of the game and that’s it.”

Anfield’s atmosphere is often hailed because of the fans singing the club’s song before every game and at the end of some games. It’s impressive, but only if that level of noise was continued throughout the game.

All top clubs’ home support is severely lacking at the moment, because of ticket prices and the alienation of a certain type of fans over the last two decades.

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