In an excellent gesture, Manchester United will refund every single travelling fans' temporary Russian visa for the club's away game in Rostov next Thursday.
Man United will undergo the 2,000-mile trip to Rostov for their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 tie. They and their fans only learned of their European fate two weeks before the tie is set to be played, making arrangements for away fans difficult.
Man United to refund supporters for Rostov trip
Due to the close proximity of the draw and the match, on March 9, United have acted with a 'goodwill gesture' and confirmed they will refund every fan who provides a receipt of their visa. Fans would otherwise have to fork out up to £118.20 for processing costs, just for a Russian visa, which takes up to six days to process alone. That is in addition to the 2,000-mile trip to Rostov which will costs fans hundreds of pounds.
The Premier League side may end up spending £60,000 in refunds to their supporters, though that fee is relatively minute compared to the players' wages at the club. One fan tweeted: "A fantastic gesture and much appreciated @ManUtd".
This is the second massive trip for travelling Reds after United's 1-0 win away at Zorya Luhansk in December, the game being played in Odessa, Ukraine. The club revealed on Tuesday that 720 travelled to all three of last week's games; trips to Blackburn, Saint-Etienne and London for games against Blackburn Rovers, AS Saint-Etienne and Southampton.
Fans appreciate gesture
They were well-rewarded with three wins, the latest of which saw the side win the EFL Cup, José Mourinho's first major trophy with the club. With United sitting in sixth in the Premier League, the Europa League takes on great importance for the Reds who know a tournament victory in Europe's secondary club competition will guarantee them a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.
The away trip to Rostov will be tough, the Russian side defeated Bayern Munich there earlier in the season and have been almost unbeatable in the cold conditions of their home stadium this year. An FA Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea follows that Round of 16 game, while United fans then have the home leg against Rostov.
It's a tough schedule and will only get harder should Mourinho be victorious on his second return to the Bridge, his first seeing a 4-0 humiliation to Antonio Conte's side.