Manchester United Owners Backdown Over Naming Old Trafford Asset of Community Value

September 24, 2013

Manchester United owners have ended their attempts to review the decision listing Old Trafford as an Asset of Community Value to the delight of fans.

In August, the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) won the initial battle over the contentious club owners after their application to have Old Trafford listed as an asset of community value was approved by Trafford Council.

United attempted to review this decision immediately but MUST have revealed the clubs lawyers have quit on their pursuit.

“We’re delighted that the owners have taken the decision to back down over their opposition to the listing of Old Trafford as an Asset of Community Value,” said Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust. “This shows that supporters, when they are well advised and well organised by their supporters’ trust, can win even against owners with far greater resources and with the club machine at their disposal.

“We hope this will offer further encouragement to the supporters’ trusts at other clubs and indeed provide extra impetus to Government to push forward boldly with meaningful reform of football to encourage greater participation by supporters in ownership of their clubs.”

Effectively, it means should United ever decide to relocate from their home since 1910, they would have to offer it for sale back to the community. Although there has been no suggestion United have ever considered a future away from Old Trafford, MUST feels it prevents the Glazers from selling the land to any private company, even on the basis of United continuing to play there.

“This process was never about leaving Old Trafford,” said the club in a statement. “While we maintain it is a wholly inaccurate interpretation of the law, after further investigation, we do not believe the decision to name Old Trafford an Asset of Community Value has any meaningful impact on the club. As a result, there seemed little point in engaging in a long, drawn-out legal process just to demonstrate a point.

“The club is proud to have called Old Trafford home for over 100 years. It’s commitment is reflected in the £90m spent upgrading Old Trafford’s facilities over the last eight years and this investment will continue as we look to ensure that it remains our home for many years to come.”