Saturday, January 31

West Ham travel guide

West Ham United
Upton Park
Sunday February 8, kick off 4pm
Premier League


The ground holds 35,647 and United have got 2,900 tickets priced at £45 adults and at £22.50 for under 16s and over 65s.

The application deadline has passed and tickets will be posted out shortly if they’ve not already been.

If you applied, call 0161 868 8000 to find out if you’ve got one.

Away end tickets are being sold by online touts for £144.

Home end tickets are on general sale from West Ham priced between £45 and £63.

The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 and the programme begins at 3.30pm.


Car - £71.00
If you’re using a sat nav or a routeplanner, use the postcode E13 9AZ.

The journey is 225 miles, takes about three hours and 45 minutes and will cost you about £70 in petrol, plus £8 if you decide to go there and back on the M6 road toll.

The basic route is the M6, M42, M1, M25, M11 and A406 (north circular road). Take the A406 to the A124 (East Ham).

Then on Barking Road for approximately one-and-a-half miles until you approach the traffic lights on cross-roads.

Turn right into Green Street & the ground is on the right hand side., through Barking and then to East Ham.


There is little off-road parking on match days. The best areas to look for spaces are roads left of Barking Road, once you are past the lights at East Ham Town Hall.
'You can park at Newham General Hospital, where there is a pay and display car park, which costs £1.50 for four hours, or £3.50 for six.

To find the hospital, drive down Barking Road and pass the ground on your right. Turn left into Prince Regent Lane and the hospital is signposted from there. It’s a 15-minute walk from the ground.

Train/Tube - £56.30

The easiest way is to get a train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston and then the Tube to Upton Park station. (The full journey will take three hours – doing the train the full way there will take four hours and is £3 more expensive).

But please note: The District Line will be closed for repairs, so the only available Tube route is outlined below.

If you book your trains now, you can get a single ticket for £22 there and another for £28 on the way back (see one-way prices for individual trains below).

Otherwise, you can pay £66.10 for a return ticket on the day. Booking now will save you £16.10.

Upton Park Tube station is in Zone 3, so when you get to Euston, buy a one-day off-peak Travelcard covering zones 1-3. It will cost £6.30

Piccadilly to Euston
Leaves: 08:05, 08:20, 09:20, 10:20, 10:35, 11:15, 11:35, 11:55, 12:15, 12:35
Arrives: 10:58, 11:03, 12:08, 12:59 13:01, 13:31, 13:46, 14:12, 14:31, 14:50
One-way price: £22, £22, £28, £28, £28, £28, £28, £28, £54, £28

Euston to Upton Park
This will take 35 minutes.
Get the Northern Line towards Monument and get off at Kings Cross St Pancras.
Then take the Hammersmith and City Line eastbound and get off at Upton Park.

Here is a Tube map.

Upton Park to Euston
Reverse the route above. You should make it back to Euston by about 19:30

Euston to Piccadilly
Leaves: 18:55, 19:15, 19:35, 19:55, 20:15, 20:35, 21:24, 21:50
Arrives: 21:09, 21:30, 21:52, 22:09, 22:30, 23:00, 00:17, 00:58
One-way price: £28, £54, £28, £28, £28, £28, £28, not available

Coach - £24.30

United are running coaches to the game, with places costing £30 per person. Book here.


National Express is running three coaches there and three coaches back between Manchester Chorlton Street and Liverpool Victoria. Once you’re at Victoria, take the Tube on the Victoria Line to Upton Park.

Here is a Tube map.

Chorlton Street to Victoria
Leaves: 06:45, 08:00, 09:30
Arrives: 11:35, 13:00, 14:40
Price: £9. £12, £12

Victoria Coach Station is a five-minute walk to Victoria Tube Station. Turn onto Buckingham Palace Road, walk up and then turn left onto Eccleston Bridge.

Victoria to Upton Park
This will take 35 minutes.
Get the Victoria Line northbound and get off at Kings Cross St Pancras.
Then take the Hammersmith and City Line eastbound and get off at Upton Park.

Upton Park Tube station is in Zone 3, so when you get to Euston, buy a one-day off-peak Travelcard covering zones 1-3. It will cost £6.30
Upton Park to Victoria
Reverse the route above. You should make it back to Victoria by about 19:30

Victoria to Chorlton Street
Leaves: 19:00, 20:00, 22:30
Arrives: 23:35, 01:00, 02.30
Price: £12. £12, £12

Megabus is running three coaches there and two coaches back between Manchester Chorlton Street and Liverpool Victoria. Once you’re at Victoria, take the Tube on the Victoria Line to Upton Park, as above.

Chorlton Street to Victoria
Leaves: 6:30, 8:45, 10:30
Arrives: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
Price: £8, £8, £8

Victoria to Chorlton Street

Leaves: 19:30, 23:00
Arrives: 23:55, 03:00
Price: £10, £10

Plane - £114.60
There are 10 outbound flights and three homebound flights that will get you to and from the match.
But you’re looking at paying more than £200 and an inconvenient onward journey to from Heathrow or Gatwick to Upton Park.
It is best avoided.

Tuesday, January 27

Wembley coach and hotel places available

Champion Sports Tours have 10 places left for their coach and hotel combo deal when United face Spurs in the Carling Cup Final on March 1.

A one-night stay in a hotel and a place on the coach costs £85 per person, based on two people sharing a twin room.
The coach leaves Manchester for London on February 28 and returns after the game. Match tickets are not included in the deal. Go here to book.

Monday, January 26

West Brom reminder

You can find a travel guide for tomorrow's game here.

Sunday, January 25

Applications to open for Inter Milan

Box holders, ACS season ticket holders and executive members wishing to get tickets for the Champions League last 16 first leg match away in Milan can apply from 8am tomorrow.

Fans will have 48 hours to put their application in online or by calling 0161 868 8000/

They can then check the results from Thursday February 5.

Those with tickets must submit their travel report to the club by Sunday February 8.

United have about 4,000 tickets which cost approximately £45.

East Midlands trip for reds in cup

United will travel to either Derby or Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup 5th round.

The match will take place at either Pride Park or the City Ground on the weekend of Saturday February 14.

After drawing 1-1 in the first match Forest will play Derby at home on Wednesday February 4.

After that, we'll bring you ticket and travel news.
It may well be that fans will have to apply for tickets before then, but we'll keep you updated.

Saturday, January 24

United safely through to Round Five

Having seen off Spurs in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford tonight, the reds are in the hat for the fifth-round draw, which takes place at 6pm tomorrow.

You can see it live on ITV1.

Wednesday, January 21

Readers' questions - Milan drinking

Q, We don't land at Bergamo airport until around 4pm. I am a bit worried about finding a decent place to have a drink in the time we have left.

Do you know any red friendly bars/ pubs or anywhere United have congregated in the past? Wes.

A. Well, first of all, you should have plenty of time getting into Milan or to the stadium.

When you arrive at Bergamo Airport, get on the Terravision coach direct to Milano Centrale train station. It takes roughly an hour and costs e10 one way and e16 return. You can even book online to save time

The timetable is here but you should aim for the 4pm, 4.30pm or 5pm coaches.

So you'll get to Milan by 5.30pm - three hours and 15 minutes before the game. I would recommend you head towards the ground at this point.

But if you want to drink in town and sample some culture, head for the Duomo Milano by taking the Metro four stops south on the Yellow Line to Duomo station.

Here's a Metro map. If you stick with this plan, you'll at least getting near to the stadium so it's not adding to your journey.

This is the historic cathedral and the star tourist attraction of Milan. Immediately in front of it is a square called the Piazza Del Duomo with a McDonalds and some bars facing it. The building on the left of the photo, adjacent to the Duomo, is a shopping centre.

Bars in the square include Nepentha, at Piazza Diaz Armando and Nuovo Bar Delle Ore Di Pronzato Valter Renato. In past visits to Milan, reds have congregated here en masse.

Those bars are likely to be where you'll find most of the reds who are set to arrive the day before the game.

However, if you'd rather play it safe and head to the ground, take the Metro fom Milano Centrale six stops south on the Green Line get off at Cadorna, then take the Red Line five stops west (towards Molino Dorino) to Lotto Fiera 2.
When you leave the Metro, you're a 15-minute walk from the ground, though you don't need directions - just follow the crowd and the souvenir stalls.

The only problem is that there's absolutely nothing remotely resembling a bar next to the stadium, so you're better off sticking to near Lotto Metro stop.

One hidden beauty lies in the opposition direction from the ground, but not too far away and it should be quiet enough to guarantee you three or four trips to the bar before heading off to the match.

It's called the Black Bull (pictured right). From Lotto, follow the main road (Viale Enrico Elia) up for about five minutes until you come to Viale Certosa.
Turn left and you'll find the pub on the right-hand side of the road. It's small but welcoming and definitely red friendly.

Other than that, it really is slim pickings for drinking by the ground. A lot of people will be sticking to hotel bars and meeting friends there.

Good luck though and enjoy your trip.

Tuesday, January 20

United through to Carling Cup final

The reds will play either Spurs or Burnley in the Carling Cup final after beating Derby 4-3 on aggregate in the semis.

It will take place on Sunday March 1 with a 3pm kick off, so the home league match against Portsmouth, due to take place a day earlier, has been postponed.

United say they expect to get 31,748 tickets costing either £80, £66, £52 or £38 depending where your seat is. Over 65s and under 16s will pay half.
Box holders, executive members and season ticket holders can apply from 8am on Thursday through til 8am next Monday either online or by calling 0161 868 8000.

Loyalty pot members and season ticket holders in the ACS scheme will get priority and the more home cup games you've been to this season, the higher your chance of getting one for this game.
Applicants can find out if they have got a ticket from 8am on January 31 by calling the number above or checking their online booking history.
After that, any left will go on sale to One United Members from 8am on February 2.
United are running coaches to Wembley with places costing £32 per person.

We'll put up a travel and pub guide in the coming days.

Don't forget to check our West Brom travel guide, which will be followed by a pub guide later this week.

Currency update for those heading to Milan

You may remember that, earlier this month, we advised those of you travelling to Milan for the Champions League last 16 first leg match not to change your currency yet.

Back then, on January 8, e1 was worth 90p, but the pound struggled a lot today and went down from 90p to 93p today alone.

Given that the situation looks like getting worse, now might be the time to get that money changed ready for Italy, as e1 might well equal £1 by February 24.

Decent TV football website

Anyone who regularly reads the Red Issue forum will have seen the frequent threads from people asking what channel a match is on.

Well, now there's a definitive guide in the shape of Live Football On Tv, which does exactly what it says in name.

It covers just about everything, from first-team games to reserve matches: if it isn't listed on here, it isn't on telly. So put it in your favourites.

Sunday, January 18

West Brom travel guide

West Bromwich Albion
The Hawthorns
Premier League
Tuesday January 27, kick off 19:45

Out of a capacity of 28,003, United have got 2,400 tickets in the Smethwick End, priced at £42 adults, £25 for over 65s and £20 for under 16s.

The deadline for applying for tickets has passed and everyone who was successful should have had money taken from their accounts by now.

Home end tickets are sold out. Internet touts are charging £184 for away end tickets.

This match will not be shown live on Sky or Setanta, but you can view it on the internet. Find links here nearer the time.


Car - £25.54
If you’re using a satnav or an internet routeplanner, like Greenflag, use the postcode B71 4LF.

The journey will take 80 minutes each way and will typically cost £12.77 in fuel.

The easiest route is down the M6, onto the M5, leaving at junction 1 on to the A41 and it’s signposted from there.


Park for free 15 minutes away from the ground on either Kenrick Way or Telford Way. It’s very easy to get away from the ground after the game as it’s just off junction 1 of the M5.

You can pay a fiver to park on the club’s East Stand car park. Entry is via the A41 by McDonalds.

The Hawthorns Pub, in Birmingham Road, B71 4JZ, is right next to the ground, also charges £5 for places.

ICS Distribution Ltd, in Halfords Lane, B66 1BP, charges £4 for places and it’s a two-minute walk to the ground.

For £2.50 you can get a spot at Park Lane Industrial Estate, Park Lane, B21 8LE, which is a five-minute walk to the ground.

Train/bus combo - £21.40
Leave Manchester Piccadilly by train: 15:27
Arrive Stafford: 16:24
Leave Stafford by West Brom club coach: 17:00
Arrive at the stadium

Leave stadium by West Brom club coach: 21:45
Arrive Stafford: 22:30
Leave Stafford by train: 22:59
Arrive: Manchester Piccadilly: 00:37

The train costs £16.40. Book here
The coach costs £5. Book by calling West Brom on 0871 271 9780.

Train - £28.70
The nearest train station to the ground is called The Hawthorns – a five-minute walk to the ground.

It takes roughly two hours to get there from Piccadilly and requires two and sometimes three changes.

There are three trains that will get you home after the match, each requiring two changes.

Ask for an off-peak return ticket on the day, which is the cheapest you can get, at £28.70.

To save money, you could buy a single to Wolverhampton for £10 and a single from Wolverhampton for £10 and then buy return tickets on your next two trains (if you see the conductor). But the latest you could set off doing this would be 15:07.

Manchester to The Hawthorns
There are many services throughout the day. Use this to search for them, but below are the three latest routes to get to the game on time. Remember, set off after 10am else it will be much more expensive.

Option A
Leave Manchester Piccadilly: 17:06
Arrive Birmingham New Street: 18:31
Walk to Birmingham Moor Street: 18:53*
Leave Birmingham Moor Street: 18:53
Arrive The Hawthorns: 19:04

Option B
Leave Manchester Piccadilly: 17:27
Arrive Wolverhampton: 18:39
Leave Wolverhampton: 18:49
Arrive Smethwick Galton Bridge (pictured above): 19:04
Leave Smethwick Galton Bridge: 19:11
Arrive The Hawthorns: 19:14

Option C
Leave Manchester Piccadilly: 17:27
Arrive Birmingham New Street: 18:58
Then walk to Birmingham Moor Street*
Leave Birmingham Moor Street: 19:23
Arrive The Hawthorns (pictured below right): 19:34

The Hawthorns to Manchester

I would go for option B because
- it gives you more time after the game than option A
- there’s no walking in the dark through Birmingham city centre involved unlike option A
- you end up getting on the same (last) train as those who take option A
- it gets you home earlier than option C.

The only danger with option B is that if one connection is late, you could be in for a long wait.

Option A

Leave the Hawthorns: 21:47
Arrive Birmingham Moor Street: 21:57
Then walk to Birmingham New Street*
Leave Birmingham New Street: 22:28
Arrive Manchester Piccadilly: 00:37

Option B:
Leave the Hawthorns: 22:04
Arrive Smethwick Galton Bridge: 22:07
Leave Smethwick Galton Bridge: 22:17
Arrive Wolverhampton: 22:33
Leave Wolverhampton: 22:46
Arrive Manchester Piccadilly: 00:37

Option C:
Leave the Hawthorns: 23:07
Arrive Smethwick Galton Bridge: 23:10
Leave Smethwick Galton Bridge: 23:17
Arrive Crewe: 00:16
Leave Crewe: 00:44
Arrive Manchester Piccadilly: 01:36

*From New Street Station, exit on to Queen’s Drive, turn left and keep walking onto St Martin’s Circus Queensway and onto Moor Street. The station is on your right. It takes five minutes.

United are running coaches to the game, with places costing £20 per person. The coaches leave at 4pm from the W2 car park at Old Trafford and are due to be back by midnight. Book here.

National Express runs coaches from Chorlton Street in Manchester to Birmingham Central coach station on Oxford Street.

They take roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes and leave Manchester at: 10:10, 11:40, 12:50, 14:40 and 16:00. If you go at 12:50 or 14:00 it's only £4 one way.

From there, you can walk to Birmingham Moor Street station and get the train to The Hawthorns station.

On the way back, there's only one coach and it leaves Birmingham at 22:30. It really isn't worth risking because you've a good chance of missing it.

Megabus runs one coach there leaving Chorlton Street at 12:00 and arriving at Birmingham Queensway at 14:00, with a one-way far costing £6. There is no return coach.

We'll put up a pub guide in the next few days.

Wednesday, January 14

To Asia we will go

United's next pre-season tour will be call in Jakarta, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and China.

With a lot of detail to be confirmed, the schedule will look something like this:
July 16 - squad leaves Manchester
July 17 to 19 - training and matches in China, to be confirmed
July 20 - a match in Seoul at the World Cup Stadium
July 24 - a match against an Indonesia Super League Select XI at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
July 26 - a match against a Malaysia XI at the Shah Alam Stadium or Bukit Jalil Stadium.

Full match, stadium and tour details will be announced shortly and, as always, we'll have the best ways of getting there.

Saturday, January 10

Bolton travel and pub guide

Bolton Wanders
Reebok Stadium
Premier League
Saturday January 17, kick off 3pm

Out of a capacity of 28,723, United have 2,800 tickets costing £27 for adults, £21 for over 65s and £13 for under 16s. They have all been sold and posted out, or will be posted out shortly.

Internet touts are selling away end tickets for £110 each.

Home end tickets went on open sale on December 31 but only to people with a booking history at Bolton. But they were pretty easy to buy outside the ground for face value last season.

The match will not be shown live on any UK, but there will inevitably be pubs showing it live on Scandinavian channel Canal + and there will be plenty of internet streams showing it too.

Yes, it’s only up the road, so it won’t be a long guide, but some people may wish to know train times and where to park for free.

Car - £5.20
It’s very simple from Manchester. Take the M61 to junction 6, do a right at the roundabout and you’ll see the stadium in front of you.

Do a right at the next roundabout for Lostock Lane. For the Beehive, go straight on at that roundabout and you’ll see it right in front of you at the next roundabout.

If you’re using a satnav or a routeplanner, key in the postcode BL6 6JS. It’s 20 miles away and will cost £5.20 in petrol.

A space on the stadium car park costs £6 and there are a few industrial estates dotted nearby, like off Lostock Lane, with spaces for £3.

There’s an Asda supermarket adjacent to the ground. Non-customer parking is banned on matchdays, but there’s nothing to stop you going in to buy a newspaper before the game.

Depending on how far you want to walk, there are free spaces further down Lostock Lane and past the Beehive Pub. You can park at the Beehive for £5.

Train - £3.20
Get an off-peak single return ticket to Horwich Parkway, which is a two-minute walk to the stadium.

Last season, police were ensuring fans boarding at Victoria and Bolton had match tickets before getting on trains. They might not do so this time, but be prepared.

To the match
Direct trains leave Piccadilly at 10:46, 10:54 and then at 46 and 54 past the hour (add three minutes on to get the times from Oxford Road and six minutes for Deansgate). It takes roughly 30 minutes. There are also regular indirect services – changing at Bolton - that take 40 minutes.

Direct trains leave Victoria at 10:22 and then at 22 minutes past the hour. There are also regular services – changing at Salford Crescent - that take 40 minutes.

From the match
Trains leave Horwich Parkway to Manchester at 17:27, 17:45, 18:25, 19:27, 20:27

The first few trains after the game will go to Victoria (even though they are timetabled to go to Piccadilly) and won’t stop along the way.

Bus - £1.50
Bolton runs 13 bus services to and from the stadium on matchdays for £1 single and £1.50 return.

They start from Bury, Radcliffe, Swinton, Leigh, Farnworth, Bolton, Bromley Cross, Darcy Lever, Chorley, Wigan and Egerton. Timetable information is here.

You could, for example, catch the Metrolink to Radcliffe (on the Bury Line) and walk two minutes to Radcliffe bus station and catch the number 3 bus, listed above.

Coach - £13
United are running coaches to the game with places costing £13 each. Click here to book.

Scotts, in between the train station and the ground, is only open to fans showing home end tickets on the door. There’s usually a fair bit of a room there on match days and you can get served quicker than you’d expect.

My favourite when visiting the Reebok is the Bromilow Arms in Lostock Lane. You can park there for £3 and they do brilliant food.

It can get quite packed pretty early and it can sometimes take 15/20 minutes to get served.

It’s technically a home fans’ pub but you won’t get any trouble from the locals, mainly because it’s popular with older fans who come for the real ales and with families who come for the decent food, especially the curry.

You can also park on the car park outside the Beehive in Chorley New Road (directions above, picture below).

Believe it or not, it’s a Grade Two listed building. It’s much bigger than the Bromilow, has an outdoor seating area at the front and is pretty much the main away fans’ pub for this ground. It opens at 11am.

But because of that, you tend to get lots of police and the (albeit small) chance of trouble. But it’s only a five-minute walk to the ground, as is the Bromilow.

If you’re after something a bit quieter, you’ll have to venture a bit further from the stadium, but it’s worth it.

Head towards the motorway roundabout and turn left at the next roundabout onto Chorley Road. At number 480, you’ll find the Royal Oak, which is a great little place for a pre-match pint.

And further down that road, you’ll find the Wagon and Horses, which is a decent little boozer.

Friday, January 9

Readers' questions - Milan to Bergamo

Q. Whats the best way to get from Bergamo Airport to Milan city centre, especially early morning - our flight leaves at 6am on Thursday morning?

Would it be worthwhile hiring a car considering public transport will be limited after the game anyway? Alex Carr.

A. Don't hire a care. Get on the Terravision bus that leaves from outside Milano Centrale train station and runs pretty much 24 hours a day.

If you're on a 6am flight, you'll want to check in by 5am. Buses leave Milan at 4am and 4.30am and the journey takes exactly an hour (though at that time in the morning it'll be more like 40 minutes).

You can also get this service to Milan when you land in Bergamo. In fact, the only other way to town is getting a bus from the airport to Bergamo town and then getting a 50-minute train to Milan. So the bus saves you time and money.

You'll find a timetable here. It costs e10 one way or e16 return. A lot of reds will be on those early-morning coach so it is best to book online.

Some fans will know Terravision from their route from Chorlton Street to Liverpool Airport. It's a cheap, cheerful and reliable service.

Finally, if you're travelling on Ryanair, we would advise you to check in online for both your flights to and from Bergamo before you leave.

This will save you time because it means when you arrive at the airport, you can go straight to security rather than having to wait for check in, which closes 35 minutes before the flight leaves.

You can check in online up to five days before travel. You'll need a printer for your boarding passes and you can only do it if you're not putting luggage in the hold, though you can do it with hand luggage.

Thursday, January 8

Don't change your money for Milan just yet...

...because the pound is getting stronger, so as long as it keeps doing so, you'll get more euros for your money come the end of February.

United face Inter Milan at the San Siro on February 24 and with tickets costing "approximately £45" you're going to need all the spending cash you can get.

Today, e1 was worth 90p compared to 98p on December 31. Without boring you with the details, financial experts think that will continue because of changes in the European economy.

We would recommend you wait until the end of January before changing your money and you're likely to get the best deal at Althams, which has branches in Bolton, Bury, Denton, Farnworth, Littleborough and Ramsbottom.

And on the subject of Milan...

A new travel firm has popped up offering sports trips abroad, including to United Euro away games.

Low Cost Sport is offering day trips to the Inter Milan game on February 24 for £249 per person.

That includes return flights, taxes and transfers to and from the airport, though it might not include insurance.

The flight leaves Manchester at 8am on the day of the game arrives at 11.15am local time. Then, on the way home, the flight leaves Milan at 1am and arrives home at 2.15am.

One of the major plus points is that the company only wants a £50 deposit upon booking, so you can pay the rest after pay day.

There are also discounts for group bookings, but that may only be through official supporters' groups.

As far as organised tours goes, MU Travel is charging £279 for its trip, open to Manchester United members only, while Champions Sports is running a day trip for £249. Neither of these trips, include a match ticket, but the companies can arrange one for you to buy.

In the coming days, there will be a hotel/pub/tourism guide on Milan, so please email your questions to

Wednesday, January 7

For those travelling to Derby tonight...

...contrary to some rumours/WUMS, the match is definitely ON, according to Derby's press office.

So unless the weather changes for the worst or something else changes massively, it won't be called off. We'll keep you updated if is.
But it will be cold. The BBC says it'll be 0c at Pride Park tonight, so wrap up.

Don't forget that the match is live on Sky Sports 1 and you can also watch it online by clicking on one of the links here.

Friday, January 2

...and you thought noone could get worse than West Brom!

Inter Milan are charging United fans 'approximately' £45 a ticket for the Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the San Siro on February 24.
Funny that because, when Liverpool played there at the same stage last season, they paid £24.
United have 4,000 tickets and executives members, box holders and season-ticket holders can all apply from January 26.
The application process would imply United aren't counting on selling all of them given that execs don't have priority and neither do fans who have been to Aalborg, Celtic or Villareal this season.

Happy new year! - Train fares up seven per cent

Just when you thought you'd have an extra few quid in your pocket that 'spoons were lowering the price of beer, think again.

Yep, that's right, train fares have gone up, and while news organisations might be saying it's a six-per-cent rise, it's actually seven per cent in terms of trips to football.

Basically, train firms are only allowed to raise peak-hour tickets (for trains before 10am) in line with inflation, but they can do what the hell they like with the non-peak hour services, which we use to get to matches.

Here's a list of percentage increases for non peak-hour train services that will mostly effect reds.

Northern Rail: 7 per cent
Virgin Trains: 7 per cent
National Express East Coast: 7.4 per cent
CrossCountry: 11 per cent.

So, for example, a return from Piccadilly to Southampton on Sunday would've cost you £88.70, but now it'll cost you £94.90. Though according to National Rail you can still get them online at the cheaper price).

They say you can use statistics to prove anything. The companies have used last July's inflation rate of six per cent to come up with these rises, rather than current inflation rate of four per cent.

On the subject of trains, there was a light aircraft crash in Stafford today which has caused disruption to the West Coast mainline, so check service bulletins here before you set off on Sunday.

Thursday, January 1

Derby travel guide

Derby County
Pride Park
Carling Cup semi final first leg
Wednesday, January 7, kick off 7.45pm

Pride Park holds 33,597 and United have got 5,800 of those. They are priced at £27.50 adults, £16.75 for over 60s and £11.75 for under 16s.

All tickets have been sold and posted out. Spare tickets should be available on the night in pubs around the ground and on United messageboards now.

The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 and the programme begins at 7.30pm.


Car - 20.58
If you're using a satnav or online routeplanner, use the postcode DE24 8XL for Pride Park. This map will prove useful.

It's 95 miles each way, which works out as £10.29 each way in petrol.

When it comes to parking, it’s probably easy to follow signposts to Derby city centre and park in any one of the numerous council car parks, most of which are free after 6pm. It’s then a 10-minute walk to the stadium.

Train - £20.50
Getting there is easy, getting back will be a bit tight as there’s only one train home and it leaves Derby at 21:44.

Don’t travel before 10am, because Off Peak tickets, priced at £20.50 and valid before then.

Manchester Piccadilly to Derby

There are no direct services. All journeys require you to change trains at Sheffield. The journey time is between 90 and 100 minutes, including waiting at Sheffield.

Trains leave Manchester at 35 minutes past the hour. Don’t leave it any later than the 17:35 service though.

The ground is about a 10-minute walk from the train station using a footbridge. It is well signposted.

Derby to Manchester Piccadilly
Leave Derby: 21:44
Arrive Sheffield: 22:24
Leave Sheffield: 22:47
Arrive Manchester: 00:09

After that, there is a train which will get you home for 4am, but it might be best to miss the last five minutes and get to to the station five minutes early to avoid getting stranded for hours.

Coach - £20
Official coach
The club is running coaches to the match with places costing £20 per person.

The coaches leave from the W2 car park at 4.30pm and are due to get back about midnight. Click here to book.

Public coach
There are no National Express coaches back after the game, and the ones going would mean an 8am start and a four-hour journey.

Megabus doesn’t run coaches from Manchester to Derby.

United in the hat for FA Cup round 4

Yes, we have to beat Southampton, but with the match kicking off at 4pm on Sunday, the reds will be in the draw for the next round regardless.
It takes place live on ITV1 at about 3.20pm, right after the televised game between Gillingham and Aston Villa.

Fantastic news for fans who like a pint...

According to The Press Association much-loved cheap pub chain JD Wetherspoon is slashing prices.

So you'll be able to get a meal for £2.99 and a pint of Greene King IPA or a bottle of San Miguel, for 99p.
With that in mind, we recommend you pop into the following four pubs at Southampton on Sunday.

The Standing Order, at 30 High Street, Southampton is just over half a mile from the ground. It's open from 9am until midnight on Sunday and has a beer garden and televisions.

A similar distance from the ground is the Giddy Bridge (pictured above right), at 10-16 London Road, Southampton. It's open from 9am on the day of the game. It has a beer garden and televisions.

The Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis (pictured left), at Canutes Pavilion, Ocean Village, Southampton, is also open from 9am and has TV screens.

And the Bright Water Inn (pictured right), at 370 Shirley Road, Shirley, is just under two miles from the ground and opens from 9am It too has an outside ares and televisions for sport.