Man Utd and Liverpool’s pre-season travel plans will get Roy Keane’s blood boiling
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Manchester United and Liverpool have reportedly chartered a jumbo jet to take them to the Far East for a pre-season friendly this summer in a move that is likely to anger club legend Roy Keane. The Irishman has previously stated his disapproval of rival clubs acting respectfully towards each other given their bitter history over the years.
But in a surprise move, the two arch-rivals will have agreed to travel on the same 12-hour flight to Thailand before facing each other in the Bangkok Century Cup at the Rajamangala Stadium on July 12. And the news will surely infuriate Sky Sports pundit Keane, who has ranted consistently about the lack of pure hate between rivals in modern football.
“You’re playing for these clubs, particularly Man United, to win football matches! Not to be mates with everybody!” Keane said, after watching Harry Maguire and John Stones embrace each other with a hug at the final whistle following their Manchester derby stalemate earlier this season.
The hard-hitting midfielder earned a reputation in his playing for getting fired up in clashes between United and Liverpool, so seeing the two teams travel together will no doubt leave the former midfielder seething.
According to The Sunday Mirror, talks took place between officials at Old Trafford and Anfield about organising transport for both teams for the clash, before deciding to charter an Airbus A380 airliner for the 6,000-mile trip. The report adds that both clubs were looking to cut costs and keep the environment in mind in the planning of their journey.
The clash will be Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge of the Red Devils after linking up from Dutch giants Ajax. The 52-year-old has penned a three-year deal and will officially take up his new role on July 1, giving him a short time to work with his players before heading out to Asia for the friendly fixture.
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The exhibition match is likely to earn both clubs a lucrative payday with ticket prices ranging from £116 to as high as £600. Despite those ticket prices exceeding the Champions League final’s Category A entry fees, the 51,000-seater arena is likely to be filled to the brim with local fans after the most expensive tickets were sold within an hour of their release.
United will then make their way to Australia for the rest of their pre-season tour for the first time since their Treble-winning season in 1998-99. They will meet Melbourne Victory on July 15 ahead of facing familiar opposition in Crystal Palace four days later, before ending the trip against Aston Villa in Perth on July 23.
Liverpool, who are chasing an unprecedented quadruple, will be hoping to show off their new array of trophies for their global fanbase when they head out to Singapore after facing United, with Crystal Palace their opponents on July 15. For Jurgen Klopp’s side’s sake, they will be hoping Keane isn’t invited on board for the trip.
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