Alex Ferguson, Manchester United F.C., Premier League, Manchester The Big Problem with Manchester United's Stadium

Manchester United would lose 2 0.. The games enduring symbol, however, would be the torrent of rainwater, which would leak through the stadiums roof ahead of kick off and cascade onto the seats below.. It was as a symbol of neglect and of how the biggest club stadium in England, once the envy of the entire country has been allowed to deteriorate. Leaks were nothing new. Back in 2012, when Old Trafford was being used as a venue for that summers. Olympic football tournament supporters had to dodge a torrent of water that rained down off the north stand ahead of a match between Spain and Morocco.. The drainage issues have subsequently been fixed, but to many, these were embarrassing reminders of a lack of progress of the Glazer familys failure to modernise the stadium. Or actually to change much at all.. The Glazers have owned Manchester United since 2005., But while the most recent upgrade took place in 2006, that project, which involved adding second tiers to the North West and North East quadrants and raising the capacity by 8000, was commissioned and approvedbeforethe Glazers took control.. It means that nothing significant has happened in over 15 years., Its made worse by the fact that during the same period a whole host of other clubs have opened new or improved stadiums. Arsenal have moved to the Emirates. Manchester City have significantly upgraded. The Etihad Liverpool have built a new main stand and, most recently, Tottenham have moved into a state of the art replacement for White Hart Lane.

Around Europe. Real Madrid are currently renovating the Santiago Bernabeu at a cost of 795m and, although on hold, Barcelona have plans for an expansion to Camp Nou. Back at Old Trafford complaints from fans focus on familiar issues., The poor quality of the concourses, the catering facilities and the absence Of a big screen., One of the keys to the stadiums, high capacity is narrow, rows between seats. And while that might be an efficient use of space, many supporters, even those of less than average height, complain of being uncomfortable during games.. Some of the problems are much more embarrassing. Though. Old Trafford has also had a long standing rodent problem.. In 2015, Health Inspectors from the local council criticised the club for failing to implement adequate procedures to control pests within the food areas in the north and south stands with the report also advising that all food rooms should be inspected for possible pest entry. Points. Other issues are logistical, certainly, regarding expansion., The South Stand has remained in much the same state for nearly 50 years., Its less noticeable to television audiences, because the cameras point away from it during live games, but its single, tiered and noticeably smaller than the other three Sides of the ground., But upgrading is difficult. The stand backs onto a railway line, and so adding any extra tiers or developing it in any meaningful way would involve bridging over the track., Not an insurmountable problem, but not a cheap one to solve either.

In December 2017. It was reported that the latest scheme to renovate and expand the South Stand had stalled over projected costs of more than 750m.. As of May 2020. It was also reported that all expansion projects relating to Old Trafford were on hold. And theres little financial necessity, or at least for bearing such cost. In the last season to be unaffected by the pandemic. United reported 110m in matchday revenue. Some way ahead of Arsenal 96.2m Liverpool, 84.2m Tottenham, 81.7m and Chelsea 66.6m.. The club also argue that they have committed significant funds to Old Trafford.. In 2019, for instance, they pointed to 20m worth of stadium. Investment accounted for by 4 million on security upgrades a further 4 million to redevelop hospitality areas and 11 million in improvements to make the ground more wheelchair accessible. Ahead of the 2018 season. They also refurbished both the home and away dressing rooms., But these are small. Changes. Fans continue to notice rust on the stadium. Photographers have often pictured mice that have run onto the pitch during games and journalists remain frustrated by the outdated media facilities and the poor quality wifi, and that connectivity once caused a controversy between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho back in 2018.. Mourinho reacted badly to an Instagram story posted on Pogbas account, which apparently showed the midfielder laughing after United have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Derby County on penalties.. In fact, Pogba who had been watching from the stands had tried to upload his post an hour before, and the timing was just an awkward coincidence.

Of greater concern, though, is the lack of future vision surrounding Old Trafford. According to a source quoted by The Athletic. In May 2020, that represents a change in attitude from the ownership.. When the Glazers first came, they had the intention of rebuilding Old Trafford.. They were desperate to buy up all the land around the ground., But they have given up on the stadium.. That seems to be because of feasibility and the potential cost. And thats an added frustration, while United have spent millions of pounds acquiring property in the area. It has never been developed. In a less than flattering contrast with Manchester City who boast the sprawling Etihad Campus United. Have no Reserve or Youth Team mini stadium and no grand facilities. Hotel Football, the most visible adjacent property, isnt owned by United, but rather in part by the group of ex players, known collectively as the Class of 92.. So what next? Well? According to a Daily Mail article from February 2020, the current state of Old Trafford would be off putting to potential buyers. Should the Glazers ever try to sell Manchester United. And with the clubs estimated valuation of over 2bn, there are likely to bevery few of those to start with., But with the effects of the pandemic. The recent collapse of the proposed breakaway Super League, which promised a 3.

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