The Theatre of Dreams could turn into a nightmare for Manchester United fans after the club’s owners raised the possibility of selling off Old Trafford.
he Glazers state in a document sent out to potential investors, that the legal contract governing the £500m bond they are looking for “will not prohibit us from selling certain key properties” including “our training facilities and our stadium.”
Joel Glazer pledged after the purchase of the club in May 2005 that a sale would never happen and and the owners are now facing a backlash from United fans.
The Glazers could secure an immediate £300m from the sale of the ground — a figure which would almost halve their £700m debt. However, the buyer is likely to want a rental yield for the ground, meaning that United would be encumbered with a £15m-a-year bill, which would cut Sir Alex Ferguson’s ability to continue to be a major force in the transfer market.
And there is also a clear warning that: “If we sell or transfer either or both of these properties [Old Trafford or Carrington] we will no longer control them.”
There is also an admission that Old Trafford may suffer if United no longer own it.
“The failure by the [freeholder] in respect of either or both of these properties to maintain the properties or to make additional capital expenditures to improve the facilities at such properties could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.”