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Volume 6 No. 216


ManU fans "have scored a long-awaited victory over the Glazer family after the club’s owners conceded defeat in their attempts to fight the listing of Old Trafford as an Asset of Community Value," according to Adam Crafton of the London DAILY MAIL. In August, the Manchester United Supporters Trust "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." ManU was "furious about the decision and immediately set about securing a review of the decision." However, on Monday evening, it was revealed by the MUST that the club’s lawyers "have now admitted defeat and the listing will stand" (DAILY MAIL, 9/24). In Manchester, Paul Britton reported the club said that "the ruling would not have 'any meaningful impact' on Manchester United and there was 'little point' in a legal fight." In a statement, the club said, “This process was never about leaving Old Trafford. 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" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 9/24).

COMMUNITY ASSET: The PA wrote should ManU ever "decide to relocate" from its home since 1910, it would have to "offer it for sale back to the community." For its part, the club feels that "it has turned into a pointless discussion" as its understanding of the situation is that ManU "could still move, and sell the stadium, but only after offering local clubs the opportunity to pay full market rates for it first." It also contends that, in this instance, ManU as a football club is the community asset and without it, Old Trafford "is merely bricks and mortar." That is "a debatable point given the history of the stadium, although if no team played there, it would evidently not have a worthwhile function" (PA, 9/24).

FA senior figures said that London's Wembley Stadium "is willing and able to host any prospective London-based NFL franchise, and could do so alongside the 'priority' demands of football," according to Robin Scott-Elliot of the London INDEPENDENT. On Sunday, the stadium "will host the first of two NFL games this season, when the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Minnesota Vikings in front of a full house." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "has become increasingly keen on establishing a franchise in London, having been impressed by the success of the one-off matches staged there." Wembley Managing Dir Roger Maslin insisted that Sunday’s match "would leave no mark on the playing surface ahead of England’s decisive World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland next month, and nor would it be an issue should American football be played every second week during the season." Maslin: "We have no qualms whatsoever about delivering a fantastic surface for England. We would be very happy to facilitate NFL at Wembley. We can hold games every couple of weeks, absolutely" (INDEPENDENT, 9/24). The AP reported NFL Int'l SVP Chris Parsons said that "the 'core fan base' in the U.K. is now more than 2 million." That is "more than double the figure when the league first brought regular-season games to Wembley in 2007, but still not high enough for a franchise here to be sustainable." Parsons: "We've doubled our fan base in the last three and-a-half to four years. I'd like to see that at least double again in the next three or four years. That would put us among the top five sports in the U.K. in terms of core fan base" (AP, 9/24).

The Korea Baseball Organization said that "it will formally demand the home city of an expansion ball club to choose a more viable site to build a new stadium, citing lack of transparency in the original selection," according to YONHAP. The KBO "urged the city of Changwon in South Gyeongsang Province to choose a new location for a new ballpark for the NC Dinos." The Dinos joined the KBO this year as the league’s ninth and newest team. They are "currently playing at a renovated Masan Stadium, which can seat up to 20,000 fans." Under an agreement with the KBO, Changwon "must complete a new stadium" with at least 25,000 seats by '16 (YONHAP, 9/24).