How Manchester United almost had use for Manchester City's stadium site

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Manchester United nearly struck a deal to secure the Etihad site as their new training complex.

Manchester United are partly to blame for the rise of their noisy neighbours because they passed on the opportunity to use Manchester City’s current stadium site as a place for a new training ground.

Ferguson has revealed that way back in the late 90s, United considered the current Etihad Stadium site for their training complex before they decided to build their new training centre at its current base in Carrington.

It’s an ironic twist of fate because had United gone with the Etihad site, they would have affected City’s future long before they even got a sniff of the millions that have enabled their success in English football.

It’s an interesting insight to Ferguson’s thinking before City’s rise to power in the English game because had he enjoyed the benefit of knowing what was coming, he may well have chosen to but that particular site.

It would have had the future effect of forcing city into building a new stadium, which itself would have created huge external problems for the club in terms of their finances.

However, that site was subsequently used for a Commonwealth Games event, which would have still taken place and a new stadium may still have been built regardless for that event.

The opportunity to use that stadium would still have existed for City but whether it would have had the same impact as making them a prospect for investment is purely hypothetical.

In a way I’m quite glad United never bought that site because if they had, we may not be enjoying the benefits of the intense rivalry between the two clubs which currently exists.

City’s rise in the English game has made them a guaranteed title favourite each and every season because they can go out and buy who they like and pay the best wages to stop anyone from leaving.

It’s also unlikely to be a decision that Ferguson regrets because his entire career has been based around competing against sides that have been trying to topple United at the top of English football.

First it was Liverpool, then Arsenal, Chelsea got rich with Roman Abramovich and now it’s Manchester City.

Carrington has worked out pretty well for United and they have as good a training centre as any other top side around Europe.

However, it’s the fact they missed a chance to cripple City which will leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouths of United fans although the boss had no idea they would be the challenge they are proving to be.

United fans, are you happy the club settled at Carrington?

image: © geetarchurchy

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