Back in 2007, Manchester United instituted a policy that forced season ticket holders to buy tickets for home cup games. The Automatic Cup Scheme forces supporters to agree to buy tickets to every home Champions League and FA Cup game as a condition of purchasing Premier League season tickets. It's controversial and it's pissed off fans for a while, but it's not new.
Of course, people who are not match-going Manchester United fans aren't terribly familiar with the system, since they have no reason to be. That leads to awful PR snafus like the one United find themselves in today. A day after an embarrassing loss away to Olympiacos, United sent out this email to their season ticket holders.
Now, a long-standing policy looks like a threat and a shakedown. It's a terrible way to suck every last dime out of your most loyal supporters, but it's not exactly news. But the internet moves quickly, and now millions of people think Manchester United are money-grubbing crooks.
Good luck talking your way out of this one, United PR staff.