THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS: United go gourmet

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United go gourmet

Manchester United's insatiable lust for money-making opportunities has acquired another dimension with the addition of the Red Cafe to the other attractions that have turned Old Trafford into a monument to consumerism.

You will note from the accent - always a handy clue - that this is not exactly the greasy spoon that might once have been associated with football grounds. Nor is there a Bovril urn or a counter stacked with dubious meat pies.

Indeed, the menu for this authentic Nineties-style themed restaurant, complete with the customary multitude of video screens, includes such delicacies as "monkfish tails in black bean sauce" and "deep-fried pearls of mozzarella with gooseberry and nectarine compote" as well as "Red Cafe Kebab" - aptly named in view of United's next Champions' League engagement - and a desert described as "Italian surprise", which is presumably named in honour of the defeat being planned for Juventus.

Given that the area around the stadium is not exactly awash with gourmet eateries, United are expecting to do a brisk trade, especially among customers at their on-site superstore. Situated in the North Stand, the Red Cafe is open from midday until 11pm daily.

United have sometimes been accused - although, of course, only by cynical spoilsports - of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Having perused the Red Cafe's menu on Saturday, my colleague, Glenn Moore, might challenge this charge.

Curiously, he reports, there was not a price in sight.

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