The Premier League rivals will charter an Airbus A380 for their 6,000-mile summer trip, with the aircraft to be specially reconfigured for both teams
Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool will travel to their showcase pre-season friendly in Thailand together after chartering a jumbo jet to take them to the Far East.
The Premier League ’s two biggest clubs have decided to swap attitude for altitude when they kick-off their preparations for the new campaign by competing for the Bangkok Century Cup in the Rajamangala National Stadium on July 12.
Sunday Mirror Sport understands that talks have taken place between officials at Old Trafford and Anfield about the best way to transport both teams to the Thai capital.
And they have opted to charter an Airbus A380 airliner – the world’s biggest passenger plane – for the 6,000-mile journey.
The wide-bodied aircraft can carry 471 passengers but will be specially reconfigured so that both parties can travel in optimum comfort. The meeting with Liverpool will be Erik ten Hag’s first game as United boss – and the Dutchman could get a close-up look of the challenge he faces as soon as he takes his seat in First Class for the 12-hour flight.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently chasing down an historic Quadruple – and will be expected to parade any trophies they win this season on a tour that will also take them to Singapore to face Crystal Palace on July 15.
United will move on from Bangkok to Australia after playing Liverpool. The Reds will visit Melbourne for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s team won the Treble in 1999. United will meet Melbourne Victory on July 15 and Crystal Palace four days later.
Ten Hag’s squad will then fly to Perth to finish the tour with a game against Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on July 23. Both Liverpool and United have huge worldwide support.
And they are looking to cash in after the Covid pandemic prevented them from touring the globe and cost them a fortune. Tickets for their meeting in the 51,000-capacity Rajamangala National Stadium stadium range from £600 to £116.
That means the most expensive seats for a friendly being billed in Bangkok as ‘The Match’ are more expensive than the premium tickets being sold for £580 for this month’s Champions League Final in Paris.
That has led to criticism from locals that they have been priced out of watching Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk in the flesh. But the most expensive tickets were all snapped up within an hour of going on sale.
Organisers have confirmed that the game is now close to being a sell-out and top tickets are already being offered on the black market for almost double their face value.