Trafford Council has approved the listing of Old Trafford (MUFC football ground) as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act.
This follows its nomination by MUST - the Manchester United Supporters Trust www.joinmust.org
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 registration scheme was made possible by the Localism Act (2011) with the Asset of Community Value legislation coming into force last September.
Council representatives made the decision on Wednesday afternoon after a consultation period.
During the consultation period, lawyers acting for Manchester United formally objected and the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust sought legal advice in response.
MUST’s legal team tabled a document rebutting United’s arguments and clearly impressed the council panel with their arguments.
A MUST spokesperson said: "We welcome this news – and believe both Manchester United and other football fans should too."
"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."
Notes to editors
Impassioned plea to list Old Trafford from family of the man who saved United http://bit.ly/17hICXZ
- 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.
Asset of Community Value
Part 5 Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011 and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012, which were approved by resolution of both Houses and came into force in England on 21 September 2012. Since the scheme came into force over 360 Assessment of Community Value have been listed.
MUST - the Manchester United Supporters Trust www.joinmust.org
MUST is the independent Manchester United Supporters' Trust, a not-for-profit organisation with 194,000 members stretching around the world
Our Inspirational Dream
Manchester United FC owned by the fans and run for the fans.
Our Greatest Imaginable Challenge
To create the opportunity for all United fans to share in the ownership of their club, inspiring the participation of at least one million supporters.
MUST is the independent Manchester United Supporters' Trust, a not-for-profit organisation and an Industrial and Provident Society registered with the Financial Services Authority (30024R) under the name I-MUST Limited with offices at MUST, Trafford House, Chester Road, Stretford, MANCHESTER M32 0RS
Read the rest of this entry »