The next Manchester United owner will need to invest in more than just an initial purchase price, as Old Trafford continues to add to potential sale hurdles. Not only will Manchester United cost billions, but owners must also devote increased funds to renovate the club’s stadium.
The Glazer family, the club’s current owners, quoted potential buyers a fee of around $7.5 billion to buy the team. However, this massive asking price has turned off prospective buyers. It has now been 176 days since the family proclaimed that they would listen to offers for the team. Now, the Financial Times is reporting that Old Trafford is a stumbling block.
United owner can use land around Old Trafford
Paul Michael Brannagan, a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University recently claimed that a significant development is in order. “I would assume that whoever buys Manchester United would look to use Old Trafford and the new infrastructure to spearhead a major redevelopment of the area,” said Brannagan.
One option would be to utilize the land surrounding Old Trafford. The club currently owns about 40 acres around the arena. New ownership could use this land to build a brand new stadium, similar to what Spurs previously did. This would, however, potentially cost over $1 billion.
Two of the potential buyers of the club have made it clear that they will invest in team facilities. Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani publicly claimed that renovations of the historic arena would take place should they win a bid for the team.
EPL teams catching up to United’s matchday revenue
Old Trafford opened in 1910 and is still the largest stadium in the Premier League. United’s home can fit just over 74,000 fans on game days. Because of this, the Red Devils generate more money each time they host a match than any other Premier League outfit. In fact, they raked in $136 million in matchday revenue last season. This was most of any English team.
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Nevertheless, English clubs are beginning to catch up with United. Tottenham Hotspur, despite only having a stadium capacity of about 63,000 people, recorded matchday revenue of $135 million during the 2021/22 campaign.
There was a recent hint that Old Trafford may be losing its luster. The stadium was overlooked in the UK-Ireland joint bid to host the 2028 Euros. Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and the aforementioned Tottenham Stadium were both in the 10 stadiums to be chosen. However, Old Trafford was not selected by the committee.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Panthermedia
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