A Manchester United-supporter is taking on the might of his City neighbours over the rival club's plans for a £100m training complex.
Shaun O'Brien has owned an 80-acre plot in east Manchester since 1987. Back then it was little more than a rundown industrial estate. Now he is fighting a compulsory purchase order for his business site by offering small parcels of land to United supporters for £250. City is in the midst of a £1bn redevelopment of the 200-acre site, which will include the training ground.
Mr O'Brien said he never intended turning the sale into a Red-Blue issue. He said he just wanted a fair price for his land. Mr O'Brien said he had sold a “significant” number of the 18,000 plots through his website. He admitted his £4.5m asking price was aimed at highlighting the club's “equally stupid” offer of £200,000 for the land and £750,000 for the inconvenience of relocating.
A council spokesman said “The Unite Against City scheme is in no one's best interests except Mr O'Brien's. The valuation he is placing on this land is far in excess of anything in Manchester.”