Picture: Manchester United take out an advert looking to fill up Old Trafford

Plenty of eyebrows were raised in Manchester on Thursday when a large advert from the Red Devils was spotted in the Manchester Evening News.

The advert was aimed at encouraging supporters to buy tickets for United’s home match with Southampton on January 16th, and the advert was bold in its objectives with the tag-line: “Shouting at the telly isn’t as satisfying… There is no place like home games.”

Yet do Manchester United really need to buy adverts to sell seats at the Theatre of Dreams? Recent attendances would suggest not.

Old Trafford houses 75,811 (according to Google), while the last five home matches have produced the following attendances: West Brom 75,595, Newcastle 75,595, Sunderland 75,582, CFR Cluj 71,521 and West Ham  75,572 (all figures sourced from Manchester United’s official website).

The data suggests that the Red Devils have little trouble selling tickets. So why the need for the ad?

See the Manchester United advert in the Manchester Evening News below.