May 13, 2024

Manchester United have been left embarrassed after the away dressing room at Old Trafford flooded following their defeat to Arsenal.


Heavy rain struck Manchester towards the end of Sunday’s Premier League clash. United said that 1.6 inches of rain fell in the two hours after the final whisttle, more than in the entire month of May 2023.


That rain saw a long-running problem re-emerge, with water cascading from one corner of the ground and floods pouring under the seats. Old Trafford has been hit by chronic under-investment since the Glazers bought the club in 2005.


New controlling co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has pledged £237million to upgrade Old Trafford as part of his £1.3bn investment in United. And videos on social media suggest the problems that need attention are stacking up.



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A video from a member of Arsena’s staff showed heavy leaks coming from the roof of their dressing room. Despite the dressing room flooding, the Gunners’ spirits would not have been dampened after Leandro Trossard’s first-half strike secured a crucial win.


But the fact that the leaks are now affecting the dressing rooms will be a concern to Ratcliffe. So far, his attention has been focused on building a new stadium, with Seb Coe appointed to lead a committee looking at that prospect.


That focus may shift after Sunday though, with Ratcliffe having been in attendance at the Arsenal defeat. Back in February, he hinted that he saw the need to upgrade Old Trafford as being urgent.



The flooding even hit the away dressing room, with the roof leaking heavily

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Sir Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS watches from the directors box ahead of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 14, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has pledged to invest in refurbishing Old Trafford ( Image: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

“The two most talked-about issues at Manchester United are number one, the football, the performance on the pitch and the second one is the stadium. What we can see so far is a really good case to refurbish Old Trafford, probably about £1billion in cost,” he said.


“You finish up with a great stadium, it’s probably an 80,000-90,000-seater. But it’s not perfect because you’re modifying a stadium that is slap-bang up against a railway line and all that type of stuff, so it’s not an ideal world. But you finish up with a very good answer.


“Manchester United needs a stadium befitting one of the biggest clubs in the world and, at the moment, it’s not there. Old Trafford maybe was 20 years ago but it’s certainly not today.


“It’s still one of the biggest ones. But today it’s a bit run-down and neglected in places. There’s a strong case for using a stadium to regenerate that area, like with the Olympics, as Sebastian Coe did with that part of east London quite successfully.


“City have done it and they’ve done quite a good job. I think the refurb would take longer than the new one because it’s more complicated, because obviously you’re building and you have to build over a main railway line which is quite complicated and expensive.”

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