Since the Glazer family have been owners of Manchester United, their famous Old Trafford home has barely seen as much as a lick of paint.
While their rivals moved to high-end stadiums and spent hundreds of millions rebuilding their own homes, United’s owners allowed their stadium’s decay to happen on their watch, with what happened to Old Trafford almost reflecting what happened in the post. Sir Alex Ferguson era on the field.
It’s been 16 years since the Glazers took full control of United, while it’s been 11 years since Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool. And although there are similarities between the two, with both from the US and previous experience with American team ownership, where United invested in a rather lax approach in the transfer market, Liverpool spent money on infrastructure, which in turn has driven revenue up to have the red nips in heels on United when it comes to financial efforts. However, they have been less likely to spend the kind of money that the Glazers have in the market, even though much more success has been achieved.
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When FSG arrived in Liverpool in 2010, there was a lot of noise about finding a new home for the Reds in the city. That idea was quickly rejected and the focus was on making Anfield better, with the refurbishment of the Main Stand completed in 2016 worth more than £ 100 million, adding an additional 8,500 seats to Anfield and in high degree improved their lucrative business offerings.
Then there was the new super store that was built next to the stadium, which was the move to a new training facility in Kirkby, and as we enter 2022, there is again work in full flow as the redevelopment of Anfield Road Than get started. The latter will add an additional 7,000 seats and take capacity beyond 60,000, moving the club closer to breaking the £ 100m barrier. pr. years in match day revenue as more demand is serviced.
FSG’s investment in the club’s infrastructure through bank and owner loans as well as an increase in the club’s credit facility has brought it closer to £ 250m. For United, the dilapidated Old Trafford and Carrington training complex has almost become a remnant of the halcyon days, where the lack of investment in the environment has not been a priority as long as commercial revenue rolled in, as it has done over the last decade as the club has constantly managed to capitalize on their past glories that brought a global audience.
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But now, with an ownership group that, like FSG, has a lot to do to show fans that they really care in the wake of the European Superliga debacle, both of which were agitators, United are trying to follow in Liverpool’s footsteps.
A report from the Daily Mail suggests United are ready to invest in improvements at both Old Trafford and Carrington, which opened in 2000, with the former’s capacity set to rise above 80,000 and help revenue on match days further.
A number of ‘exciting’ plans are being considered, according to the report, although a financial figure has not yet been put into the rebuilding work.
In the wake of the failed ESL plot, the Glazers had committed to investing in Old Trafford.