Preston’s security team has had to increase security at Monday’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United over fears that home supporters might confront Sir Alex Ferguson who is reported to be part of United's official party at the game.
According to the Daily Telegraph, United informed Preston on Friday that Ferguson plans to visit Deepdale for the first time since sparking a bitter row with the club.
Preston are keen to ensure that extra security is provided for Ferguson to prevent disgruntled home fans challenging the Scot as a result of bad blood stemming from the dismissal of his son Darren as Preston manager in December 2010.
Ferguson junior was sacked by Preston, then bottom of the Championship, after guiding the team to just 13 wins from 49 games. Ferguson senior, then in charge of United, angered Preston by immediately recalling two players, Ritchie de Laet and Josh King, from loan spells at Deepdale. Ferguson also made moves to curtail a similar loan move involving United’s England Under-20 midfielder, Matty James.
Preston were subsequently relegated from the second tier at the end of the 2010-11 season and have yet to regain Championship status.
The game is already a sell out with fans queuing up from 2.00 am on Friday morning to snap up the final 2,000 or so tickets that went on general sale.
The biggest concern for the club though will be the possibility of United fans living in the town having home tickets. To avoid this fans had to have been registered with the club's ticket office before January. United have been allocated the whole of the Bill Shankly Kop but demand was such that one United fan told us he thought they could have sold the tickets ten times over with the proximity of the two clubs.