Manchester United Supporters Trust succeeded in making Old Trafford a 'community asset', which makes any sale of the stadium more difficult for club owners. Obviously, the club demands a review and is concerned that this might set a precedent. But it may not, the precedent had already been set before.
In May Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) filed a notion to the local Trafford Council, asking to list Old Trafford a community asset.
This Localism Act status means, in short, that any attempt to significantly change the stadium's situation must be preceded by information to the community, who could then build a counter-bid to the change and reclaim the ground. Most importantly this impedes all sale attempts by the Glazer family, who have put the club in extremely high debt in recent years.
On Wednesday the Trafford Council approved the notion and made Old Trafford the asset expected by fans' community. Yesterday the club replied with demand to review the decision, but it is understood that – if overthrown – fans will go further in legal fight, seeking their desired status.
A club statement released yesterday assures the club understand the unique character of Old Trafford, but have concerns that the legislation is not being applied correctly which could set a precedent throughout the country.
United are wrong, though, as the precedent had already been made in May. Oxford United fans then succeeded in claiming the community asset status for their Kassam Stadium and MUST followed suit.