Manchester United supporters win fight to award Old Trafford Asset Of Community Value status
Thu 1st Aug 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Trafford Council has granted a request by MUST - the Manchester United Supporters Trust to "protect" Old Trafford in case it is ever put up for sale.
The club's home since 1910 will be labelled an Asset Of Community Value.
Old Trafford having the status of an asset of community value means fans could be the first to know if there were to be a proposal to sell it, and even have an option to buy it.
The club has asked Trafford Council to review its decision and said it is concerned legislation has not been correctly applied.
In a statement United, which opposed the trust's application, said it has already demonstrated commitment to Old Trafford by investing £90m in upgrading facilities.
It said: "Old Trafford is, of course, a special place; it is the heart and soul of the club."
But it added: "We do have concerns that the legislation is not being applied correctly which could set a precedent throughout the country.
"Therefore, we have asked the council to follow the statutory review process to ensure the legislation is being applied as intended."
Trust chief executive officer Duncan Drasdo said: "While we appreciate the owners have no current plans to move or sell Old Trafford, this is a decision that helps to protect fans' interests in the long term, as no one knows what the future holds."
"We are extremely grateful to our legal and other advisors, supportive councillors and MPs, Supporters Direct and our hard-working representatives and members who have backed this bid from the start."
"We hope this gives confidence to supporters of other clubs that they can pursue this route and we are grateful to Oxford United's Supporters Trust (OxVox), who set a precedent with the approval of their own stadium."
"We still aim to build a more positive relationship with Manchester United and do not envisage a difference of opinion on this issue will hamper that."
"We are looking forward to a successful season both on and off the pitch."
Manchester United now has eight weeks to formally appeal against the decision. We understand they have already indicated they wish the Council to review the decision.
If the club does appeal, Trafford Council would spend at least eight weeks considering it.
If such an appeal were to be unsuccessful, United could make a further appeal to the general regulatory chamber of the First Tier Tribunal based in Leicester.
Posted by: Kev Howland
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