Full extent of Man Utd’s embarrassing leaky roof revealed with stars forced to change post-match routine and media chaos

Full extent of Man Utd’s embarrassing leaky roof revealed with stars forced to change post-match routine and media chaos

OLD TRAFFORD was plunged into chaos when a thunderstorm hit on Sunday afternoon.

A deluge of rain poured down during the final stages of Manchester United‘s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

Manchester United's leaky roof was on show for all to see on Sunday
Manchester United’s leaky roof was on show for all to see on SundayCredit: Getty
Old Trafford was hit by a two-hour deluge on Sunday afternoon
Old Trafford was hit by a two-hour deluge on Sunday afternoonCredit: Getty
The pitch was left flooded following the incredible downpour
The pitch was left flooded following the incredible downpourCredit: Rex
The issue was caused by issues with Old Trafford's 'roof draining system overflowing'
The issue was caused by issues with Old Trafford’s ‘roof draining system overflowing’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Erik ten Hag and Co were drenched after the game
Erik ten Hag and Co were drenched after the gameCredit: Getty Images – Getty

A two-hour downpour saw 41 millimetres of rain fall on Old Trafford, more than in the entirety of May 2023.

According to The Times, the rain caused disruption to both the players’ and media’s post-match routines.

They claim that interviews had to be moved due to “potential risk”.

While their report adds that reporters and club staff were forced to cover electrical equipment.


Water could be seen streaming through the stands at Old Trafford after the match.

And even the tunnel was partially flooded.

The two-hour downpour ended at around 8:30pm.

Club staff were then forced to undergo an extensive overnight “clean-up operation”.

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Their efforts ensured that the Theatre of Streams was fully operational again by the following morning.

And there are no suggestions thus far that Wednesday’s clash with Newcastle is in danger of being called off.

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If a new stadium cannot be built, then Sir Jim Ratcliffe has several plans for their current home.

Architectural design company Populous are the firm behind some of the most cutting-edge and impressive stadiums in the world, from the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to the iconic Wembley arch.

Now they have set their sights on improving Old Trafford by putting together three plans for the historic stadium.

Two of the three plans put forward by Populous would involve either a relatively small makeover project or an expansion of the south stand and complete redevelopment of the rest of the ground.

While the third option would mean the whole stadium is demolished and replaced with an entirely new arena in its place.

But it won’t come cheap with the estimated cost of building a new ground sitting at around £2BILLION.

While a redevelopment is reported to be expected to cost somewhere in the region of £800m and could take up to eight years to complete.

Populous have already managed to pull off stadiums that keep tradition, atmosphere and comfort at the top of the list of priorities for fans.

That means that the new Old Trafford will be covered in screens that illuminate the streets surrounding the Theatre of Dreams.

The firm were behind the design of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium back in 2006 before aiding North London rivals Spurs in the construction of their 62,850 seat ground.

Old Trafford’s “leaky” roof has long been mocked by rival fans.

But United claim that Sunday’s issues was caused by their “roof draining system overflowing”.

In recent years Red Devils chiefs have considered putting a new roof on their traditional home.

But they have always decided against doing so, deeming it too costly a measure.

Although workers have already been seen scaling the infamous roof in the aftermath of Sunday’s debacle.

Since completing their partial purchase of the Red Devils earlier this year, Ineos have explored the possibility of building a £2billion “Wembley of the north”.

In March, Sir Jim Ratcliffe outlined plans for a 100,000 seater stadium on the existing Old Trafford site.

There’s a strong argument to build a ‘Wembley of the north’

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Appearing on the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast, the 71-year-old said: “You have got this opportunity if you choose to, to build a completely new ground, because we have got enough space.

“If you built a completely new ground it would absolutely be state-of-the-art, world class, 90,000 or maybe even 100,000 that then provides a platform for some of the big competitions in the north of England.

“Why do England always play in the south? Why is the FA Cup final always in the south? Why can’t the Champions League final be in the north occasionally?

“Football in the north is just as important as it is in the south, arguably more so, and the people in the north pay their taxes, so why do we have Wembley, Twickenham, Wimbledon etc in the south.

“What have we got in the north? There’s a strong argument to build a ‘Wembley of the north’.”

Man Utd fans behind the team? I’m not so sure…

By Dave Kidd

THERE was much praise for the Manchester United away fans when they sang their hearts out until the end of the 4-0 humping by Crystal Palace.

Not least from Erik ten Hag, who claims their singing is an indication that supporters back him and his mid-table squad.

And on Sunday, United’s supporters were in good voice again — before the match in the Bishop Blaize pub, during the match on the Stretford End and after it on Manchester’s sweatbox trams during an almighty monsoon.

They sang songs about George Best, Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-sung, Jaap Stam, Nemanja Vidic and — as Arsenal were in town — Robin van Persie, too.

But there wasn’t a single song about any current player.

And there were also self-deprecating renditions of ‘we’re f***ing s**t!’

Not quite the ringing endorsements that Ten Hag thought he’d heard.

A taskforce has since been established, headed by Lord Coe and including Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

Man Utd icon Rio Ferdinand has also called on Ineos to improve the club’s training and changing facilities.

He told his Five podcast: “That’s one of the things I think the club has got to look at, what’s going on behind the scenes?

“The training, the way the players are around the place [and] what’s the atmosphere like in the changing rooms and [around] the training ground?


“Because there’s a lot to be said for that.

“If it ain’t right around the training ground, invariably it ain’t gonna be right on the pitch.”



Etienne Fermie

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