Thousands of Manchester United fans who have bought and paid for valid tickets for this weekend’s Carling Cup Final could be prevented from entering the Millennium Stadium.
PA has been alerted to a problem created by a four-week backlog of mail which has arisen following the wildcat postal strike in Belfast, which ended last week.
With the Royal Mail refusing to pay staff overtime to clear the backlog, many Northern Ireland-based United fans will not have their tickets delivered in time for Sunday’s encounter with Wigan.
Strenuous attempts have been made by the Football League to persuade the Millennium Stadium to relax their rule not to issue duplicate tickets, but so far to no avail.
United are equally anxious for a solution to be found, knowing their Irish-based support is both large in number and traditionally very loyal.
Millennium Stadium officials say their policy is based on security concerns.
That has not gone down well with the Football League or United, who feel not enough effort has been made to find a compromise solution.
United are refusing to get involved in a public slanging match over the issue but are doing all they can to resolve a situation which they estimate will affect well over 1,000 fans.
“We fully appreciate the concerns of our fans, and are very sympathetic towards them, but the situation is out of our hands,” said a United spokesman.
“It is the Millennium Stadium authorities in Cardiff who will not issue duplicate tickets.”