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Volume 7 No. 93
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ManU Could Explore Development Opportunities Around Old Trafford

The Glazer family, which owns ManU, has been "steadily buying up land around Old Trafford since taking ownership of the club" in '05, according to James Robson of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. At a cost of millions of pounds, the Americans "have carried out a sustained and targeted campaign to take control of surrounding real estate, which could provide future development opportunities." The Glazers' determination to maximize ManU's full commercial potential "could also see them explore other lucrative projects, not necessarily linked to football." The club has continued to expand Old Trafford as its "popularity has soared." But new high-tech stadia have "left sections of supporters believing the famous ground has become dated by comparison." ManU spent £8.2M "buying up land" in '11. While a move away from the "Theatre of Dreams" would be "controversial," the club has "room to rebuild a state of the art stadium on the same site in the manner of Spurs, with fewer constraints." A 5,000-10,000-seat stadium was considered as part of ManU's "deep-rooted review" of its academy setup. The club's Carrington training base was a "source of immense pride" to then-Manager Alex Ferguson when it opened in '00. But a chance to "start from scratch" at a new site would be an "opportunity to deploy the very latest technology and medical facilities." A purpose-built arena was planned in the '80s when the club had its own basketball team. Some "30-plus years on and a similar idea could be a commercial gold mine for the Glazers -- as well as attracting other sports back to Old Trafford" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 11/14).