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The Premier League champions were unhappy at receiving less than the usual 15 per cent of ground capacity for the third-round clash, but the FA have backed the Blues stance

Manchester United have lost the fight to increase the number of tickets allocated to them by Manchester City ahead of their FA Cup clash in January.

The two Manchester clubs were drawn against each other in the third round of the competition, with the tie scheduled for January 8 at the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League champions have complained to the governing body about the hosts proposed visiting allocation, which is supposed to represent 15% of the home side’s capacity.

But it has been confirmed that United will only be offered 5,961 seats instead of the 7,100 they should have, with the Red Devils writing to the FA asking them to remind last year’s winners of their obligations.

According to the Manchester Evening News, a meeting between the police and the council recommended that the FA back City’s stance.

The situation is understood to be complicated due to the fact United usually only offer clubs 8,500 seats for cup games, which is 3,000 less than the 15 per cent requirement, but are given dispensation to do so because of Old Trafford's large capacity.

City sources have since denied claims that the lower seat allocation was an attempt get one over on their local rivals, insisting the decision to do so was down to the fact that their stadium layout makes it much harder to allocate more than 6,100 away fans for any game.