Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs are allowing Manchester's homeless to occupy a Grade-II listed building for the winter before they turn it into a five-star hotel, a gesture that left a prominent homeless campaigner "crying and shaking".
The Manchester United legends are understood to have bought Manchester’s historic Stock Exchange for around £1.5m, but since purchasing the building, it has become occupied by homeless rights activists.
But rather than having the squatters evicted, the pair have opted to allow them to use the building for a "few months" across the winter before work commences on revamping the site.
Wesley Hall, leader of homeless campaign group Manchester Angels, revealed he had spoken to England assistant manager Neville on the phone.
“I was crying and shaking after I got off the phone. The graft has paid off," he explained.
“What a great guy Gary Neville is. We’ve been in negotiations with him and things are looking good. He said the main building work isn’t taking place until February, so we’ll be okay to stay until then.
“He’s having surveyors in tomorrow, with a bit of building work being done. I cheekily said to him he should have the homeless guys do it instead of labourers to give them a bit of work.
“I’m just in shock. He’s such an amazing guy. He told me he’s always tried to help out homeless people in Manchester, but wanted to do more."
On Saturday evening Greater Manchester Police posted details of the occupation on Twitter, to which Gary Neville responded: “Why are you tweeting it you idiots!” GMP's City Centre account later deleted the tweet.
Neville and Giggs have a growing portfolio of hotels and restaurants.
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