SUNDERLAND AFC is putting on free buses for fans travelling to Old Trafford for the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final.
Manchester United will be mounting a fight back after they limped home from the Stadium of Light this week, beaten 2-1 in the Wearside leg of the cup tie.
It comes just days after the club cancelled a proposed derby day “bubble trip,” which would have forced fans to take official transport to Newcastle for the match on February – a move which greatly angered fans.
SAFC said it was offering fans free travel to Old Trafford as a gesture after an expensive period for loyal supporters. Anyone with a match ticket can take advantage of the offer, with complimentary buses departing from the Stadium of Light on the afternoon of the game.
Sunderland AFC’s chief executive, Margaret Byrne, said: “With such a good cup run and the congested festive fixture list, there has been a large number of games in a short space of time and we appreciate how expensive it has been for our supporters.
“We hope this gesture will help as many fans as possible to get behind Gus and the team at Old Trafford.”
The club is also covering the cost of official supporters’ branch buses, along with those from the SAFC Supporters’ Association and fans organisations ALS and 73, who usually operate buses independently to most Sunderland away games.
The buses will leave for Old Trafford from the Stadium of Light at 2pm and return directly after the game. Supporters are asked to arrive at 1.30pm for boarding.
Buses will depart from the car park area close to Black Cat House and the ticket office.
The club said it anticipates at least 150 free buses will make the journey to Manchester and Symbion Power, a partner of SAFC based in the United States, is supporting the club by helping to provide 30 of those buses.
Paul Hinks, CEO of Symbion Power, said: “My staff and I have been overwhelmed by the level of passion and dedication of the Sunderland fans and we want to show our support for them and for Gus and the team.”
Supporters wishing to use the free official transport must book their place in advance.
Bookings can be made at the Stadium of Light ticket office, either in-person or by calling 0191 551 5004 – no later than 12 noon, Saturday 18th January.
More details on terms and conditions are online at www.safc.com