Friday 4 September 2009
Old Trafford Tour and Museum
I thought it could be timely to write up about my tour of Old Trafford on the day that there are rumours Manchester United could be facing the same ban on football transfers that has happened to Chelsea Football Club. Also Manchester United have been announced as the World's Most Valuable Sports Team at £1.14 billion according to Forbes Magazine.
With a football club who last year had debt valued at £667 million (I might add this was not mentioned on the Tour), there seems to be nervous times ahead for the club. The spectacular amounts of money that the sponsorship deals have and will be bringing in seem to only be covering the interest on this debt. With the way the global economic climate is at the moment it would only take a breach on any of this debt repayment for United to be in serious trouble.
United of course if they did face this ban, like Chelsea, would survive and have strong youth teams with talented players. The main replacements I would unfortunately forsee in that time would be for Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
On the tour Rooney was the new favourite player, of course it had been Ronaldo before. My brother has always been a Michael Owen fan, so you can imagine his delight of him coming to Old Trafford in the Summer (his other favourites are Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Thierry Henry). My favourites (in no particular order) Ryan Giggs, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Roy Keane, Owen Hargreaves and Eric Cantona. Also Cristiano Ronaldo is not listed because of his recent transfer but I didn't really like him, he scored some amazing goals and he helped us win many trophies but I never took to him.
Before when I had taken the tour the players changing rooms were roped off, now you can actually sit down on the benches where your heroes sit. Rooney again was the favourite place to sit and have your photo taken!
It is still an impressive tour of the ground and I think the tribute to the Munich air disaster is a very poignant addition. For the week of the 50th anniversary I had just got to the Munich crash in My Manchester United Years: The Autobiography by Sir Bobby Charlton, and it made it even more real when I watched the anniversary programme tributes on MUTV. Charlton says "I thought, 'Why me? Why am I here with nothing happened to me other than a little gash on the head' and all these other friends had been killed? I felt it wasn't fair, why should it be me? It took a long time for me to feel better about it, certainly. It was such a momentous event, for so many young people to die just on the verge of the great success that was ahead of them, and I couldn't understand why?".
I would recommend the Tour and Museum to all those who have not been and to those who haven't been for a while as they keep making changes to it. The Red Cafe is also worth a visit inside, where as if by chance my brother's seat had 'Owen' on it and mine 'Giggs', but of course they are all there.
As we head into international duty let's hope we have no new injury concerns and then can welcome back Ferdinand and Hargreaves (I'm a real fan of his and think he could be pivotal for us and England). Also let's hope England's qualification is over and done with next week, and we'll be heading for South Africa in the Summer.