Home » Old Trafford’s pitiful state should be a concern for Manchester United’s new owners

Old Trafford’s pitiful state should be a concern for Manchester United’s new owners

by Derick Kinoti

As the Manchester United takeover process goes into full throttle, one issue that has been central to bidders’ proposals has been the redevelopment of Old Trafford.

That United’s iconic home needs a complete revamp is indisputable. Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani confirmed in a statement that he supports the idea of restoring Old Trafford to its former glory.

It is thought that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid also contains the same promise.

However, as The Telegraph’s Alex Shaw points out, Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe will have to dig deep into their pockets to bring Old Trafford on the same level as their competitors.

Shaw notes that at the moment Old Trafford is rife with pesky rodents, a leaky roof and overflowing toilets among a litany of other structural challenges.

United’s home is a historical sanctuary boasting decades of football heritage and yet it’s highlighted by cramped concourses and dodgy phone reception.

A match-going fan told the publication on Sunday as the Red Devils hosted Fulham in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, “The place is just tired. It still has character as it’s old but the place is so far behind the times.”

“It’s embarrassing walking in here and seeing rust and roofs leaking. It feels small-time.

“It still has a charm about it but the food and beer is second rate and it’s so small inside. You end up having to leave about five to ten minutes before half time just to make sure you get a lukewarm pie.”

Shaw details that walking up Sir Matt Busby Way, there is a primitive feel during the journey to the grounds. Provisions for fans along that stretch of road are extremely limited in comparison to other venues in the Premier League.

“The N46 entrance to the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand is dark and dingy, while seat 115 on row AA – like many around it – is a faded red, which feels rather apt and reflective given the club’s relative downturn in the past 10 years.”

“Legroom here is at a premium, with phone signal almost non-existent at times. Even the scoreboard – a narrow, electronic strip – situated above the tunnel feels a relic of the past.”

The Peoples Person reported that United have been presented with plans to rebuild Old Trafford costing between £1 billion – £2 billion.

The decay at Old Trafford almost symbolizes the club’s dramatic decline under the Glazer family. While United have remained stagnant, other clubs such as Manchester City and Tottenham have created swanky new venues.

The positive for United fans is that the Glazers are potentially on their way out and with a new owner, comes the opportunity to have a modern home or even a new stadium entirely if that path is chosen.

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