Man Utd delay Old Trafford decision despite embarrassing Arsenal debacle

Rain poured into Old Trafford from the leaky roof (Image: Getty)

Despite the recent embarrassing incident during the Arsenal match where water could be seen streaming down from the Old Trafford roof, Manchester United have decided to delay any decisions regarding repairs to Old Trafford’s leaking roof.

The iconic stadium was battered by a severe storm during Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, resulting in flooding in several areas including the players’ tunnel, away dressing room and several seating areas.

Videos circulating on social media showed water pouring from the south-west corner of the stadium, with water also seen cascading under seats and near the post-match interview area in the tunnel.

United have attributed the waterfall-like flood in the south-west corner to an overflow caused by a high volume of water entering the siphonic roof drainage system too quickly.

However, the club has admitted that there are sporadic leaks in the Old Trafford roof due to wear and tear, which become a significant problem during periods of heavy rainfall like Sunday.

Old Trafford was hit by a rainstorm during the match against Arsenal (Image: Getty)

While United have considered the possibility of installing a new roof, the costly project is unlikely to be undertaken until a decision is made regarding the larger issue of stadium redevelopment.

United have detailed plans in place for the replacement of the roof on the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand and this remains an option under consideration.

But it is work that will cost millions and take several years and the club say it would cause significant disruption to stadium operations.

This isn’t the first time fans have been affected by the leaky roof – supporters were drenched by dripping water at the Stretford End back in September during United’s 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, leading to numerous complaints on social media.

In April 2019, just hours before the Manchester derby, a severe thunderstorm resulted in water cascading from the roof onto the seats below, prior to United’s 2-0 defeat by City.

Following the recent downpour, a clean-up operation was carried out at Old Trafford, with the stadium fully operational yesterday and attracting over 700 fans throughout the day.

United were quick to highlight that they were not the only ones impacted by Sunday’s heavy rain, with leaks reported at Manchester Airport and flooding at a nearby venue leading to a concert cancellation.

On Monday, workers were seen high up on the East Stand at the front of the stadium, but the work they were conducting painting a section of the facia boards had been scheduled beforehand.

In March, United established a Task Force to investigate all possibilities regarding the redevelopment of Old Trafford, led by Lord Coe and including former defender turned Sky pundit Gary Neville.

The Old Trafford pitch was battered by rain (Image: Getty)

Options include demolishing Old Trafford and constructing a new state-of-the-art stadium on the same site, a project which could cost up to £3billion.

Another possibility is to refurbish Old Trafford, which would not be as expensive as completely demolishing the stadium or take as long as building a brand new arena.

The estimated cost of revamping Old Trafford is around £1bn, but Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is heading the task force, is believed to favour constructing a new stadium.