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Manchester United Face Revenue Cuts as Old Trafford Floods

What’s Wrong with Old Trafford?

Old Trafford

 

Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat against Arsenal on Sunday was the least of its worries as photos of Old Trafford’s leaky dressing rooms and the flooded stands have been circulating the internet. But how did this historical stadium reach such a state of disrepair, and where does it go from here? Let’s take a closer look.

What’s Wrong with Old Trafford?

Old Trafford Stadium, home to Manchester United, is well known for being the largest club football stadium in the UK by capacity and a historical building that’s been around for over a century. It’s persevered through thick and thin, including multiple bombings during the Second World War. And yet, now it’s being defeated by a leaky roof. 

It’s no secret that Old Trafford hasn’t seen any significant updates for the best part of two decades, with issues repeatedly being noted but continually passed over for being too expensive to fix. Unfortunately, these past cutbacks have come back to haunt the club today. We’ve seen some shocking photos passed around after heavy rainfall in Manchester on Sunday evening — the interior dressing rooms are leaking, and a veritable waterfall burst from the oversaturated drainage system over the stands. 

It’s clear to everyone that something needs to be done about Old Trafford. But what?

What Can Be Done About It?

When it comes down to it, there are three options Manchester United and its owners can pick from:

Renovate

The most obvious course of action is to simply fix the issues. The stadium requires a lot of renovation work, and not just for these leaky roofs. Old Trafford is outdated compared to the stadia other UK clubs call home. Theoretically, this would also be the cheapest option, as you’re not building up from nothing or purchasing something new. However, it could be highly inconvenient for the duration of the work, not to mention the disruptions to the wider Manchester community.

Move

Of course, Manchester United could always move. It’s an option for the club to abandon Old Trafford altogether and find a new home elsewhere. This idea has been thrown around, but it seems unlikely to happen. Old Trafford is a historical stadium and a large part of the club’s history; it could damage the club further to pack up and leave it. Not to mention just how expensive it would be. It could even cost more than building a new stadium from scratch. Speaking of which…

Rebuild

The third option is rebuilding. There has been talk about taking the same location and rebuilding the stadium from the ground up. This is certainly the preferred option of Sir Jim Ratcliffe who secured his position as a club co-owner earlier this year. He’s mentioned ambitions of redeveloping Old Trafford into a ‘Wembley of the North.’ The sky’s the limit on how expensive this could be, and the time it would require is also an issue, but — if Ratcliffe can find the money — it might be the best option in the long term.

Manchester United Faces Huge Revenue Cuts

Regardless of which option the club settles on, Manchester United will need to find somewhere else to play in the meantime. If Old Trafford continues to degrade, United will need a temporary home field in time for the following season. 

We’ve seen a lot of stadiums considered for that title, but there aren’t many options in the area. At least not for a team with an audience the size of Manchester United’s (although after this abysmal season, who knows what its future holds).

In all the speculation, it looks like the club might have to turn to a much smaller stadium than it enjoys now, cutting to half or less the capacity of Old Trafford. This is certainly a solution, but it would lead to the club taking a huge cut in revenue from match attendance — and as they’re staring down a pricy stadium rebuild, a decrease in profits is the last thing they need.

What’s the Future for the Theatre of Dreams?

Time will only tell where Old Trafford winds up. In a few years, we could be looking at a shiny new stadium that lives up to everything Ratcliffe is hoping for. Or it could get much, much worse if management continues to ignore these glaring problems. 

Either way, for the foreseeable future, you should only stop by Old Trafford for yourself if you’re prepared to take a shower while you’re there. As for Manchester United, it’s gearing up to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday, May 25th.

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Solomon Shehata

Solomon Shehata is a keen football fan who keeps readers in the know about all top football and sports betting news, offers, and much more. Solomon prides himself on providing top-quality content for readers across a wide range of subjects and staying up to date with important news happening in the world of sports and sports betting.

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