Manchester United have hit back at a supporter's claim that Old Trafford is like a 'police state' which leaves supporters paralysed by fear.United boss Sir Alex Ferguson compared the atmosphere at Tuesday's Barclays Premier League win over Birmingham to a funeral, urging fans to back the team more vocally. Those comments have upset the IMUSA's Colin Hendrie, who accused Ferguson of 'a lack of understanding' of the plight supporters face. United themselves, however, rejected any notion that stewards have been asked to adopt a heavy-handed approach. In the four games prior to Christmas - against Everton, Derby, Fulham and Sporting Lisbon - it is claimed that just three fans were ejected from Old Trafford in total. A United spokesman said: 'Any suggestion of an ejection policy for persistent standing is simply not borne out by the facts.' The club have also denied that the atmosphere at the `Theatre of Dreams' is being muted by a high proportion of corporate fans - the assumed target of Roy Keane's infamous prawn sandwich jibe. Of the 76,000 fans who can pack into the stadium, 86%, United claim, are fans paying the normal ticket price. Hendrie had earlier criticised Old Trafford stewards for coming down too hard on fans who stand at moments of excitement. He said: 'You can't stand up to make a noise. If you try to stand up, you've got stewards who are ejecting you, they're taking your season ticket away from you. 'It's almost like a police state in a football ground now and if you do stand up, people will take your arm, put it behind the back of your neck and throw you out of the ground. 'Under those circumstances, what atmosphere does he (Ferguson) want? 'The only atmosphere we've got is one where we're a little bit frightened of losing £1,000 for the season ticket we've paid for.'