One of the biggest obstacles facing Manchester United in the immediate is how to redevelop Old Trafford to bring the world famous stadium up to the modern standards set by the like of Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal in recent years.
Old Trafford was previously unrivalled in the Premier League. But while it remains the largest by capacity, the ground first opened in 1910 has fallen into disrepair due to a lack of investment since the last major project began in 2005, at the same as other clubs have spent hugely on stadiums.
The south stand, renamed the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand in 2016, sits lower than the other three. But building upwards on that side of the stadium poses a major engineering problem due to the proximity of a railway line immediately behind the current structure.
The alternative redevelopment solution is knocking down the existing Old Trafford altogether and rebuilding it from the ground up – similar to how Tottenham did things at White Hart Lane.
While the demolition route has clear advantages by creating a clean slate from which to start again, the idea of destroying more than a century of history is not a popular one among many fans.
BBC Sport has reported that current co-chairman Joel Glazer, who along with brother Avram is the member of the Glazer with the most involvement in the club, prefers redeveloping the existing Old Trafford. It is said he ‘values the heritage’ of still playing at the same stadium as all previous United teams for the last 113 years.
The question has been asked why that should even matter when the club is in the early stage of a takeover process. But there appears to have been a little bit of push back from United’s current ownership as to what is actually going on with regard to various bids – only two of which are public.
The original statement from the Glazer family in November specifically mentioned a potential ‘sale’ of the club, but as part of many wider ‘strategic alternatives’ up for consideration.
BBC Sport adds it has been stressed from the club that ‘strategic alternatives’ doesn’t only mean a full takeover, while both the INEOS and Qatar bids have been told by Raine Group, the investment bank overseeing the process, to refrain from public statements that include sentiments about restoring the ‘glory years’ as it is seen by the club to indirectly criticise the Glazers.
On this week’s show, Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Grizz Khan, Hunter Godson & Nubaid Haroon. The guys reflect on another crazy weekend of Premier League action! Has the momentum swung again in the title race? If you can’t see this embed, click here to watch the video!