Old Trafford ‘struggled to cope’ with rainfall – Man Utd chiefs

Manchester United chiefs have accepted that Old Trafford “struggled to cope” with what has been described as unprecedented rainfall following the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday with sources telling ESPN it is further evidence of why new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is so keen to develop the stadium.

United have said that 41mm of rain fell in the two hours following the final whistle with videos posted on social media showing a large waterfall coming from a leak in the roof between the East Stand and the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

There are also images of water cascading underneath seats and running down the windows of executive boxes, as well as large puddles forming on the pitch.

Sources have told ESPN that all supporters who attended Arsenal’s win — which ensured their Premier League title race with Manchester City will go down to the final day of the season — were able to leave the stadium safely. But there is an acceptance that the issues further highlight the need for United to have an improved stadium.

Ratcliffe was at the game on Sunday to see the problems first hand. The 71-year-old British billionaire, who acquired a 27.7% stake in the club in February, would prefer to build a new stadium on land close to Old Trafford, although discussions have also taken place about redeveloping the existing facility.

United announced in March that a taskforce has been set up to spearhead the project. It’s being led by Lord Sebastian Coe, former chair of the organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics, and also includes Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Sara Todd, Chief Executive of Trafford Council, and former United captain Gary Neville.

Before kick-off against Arsenal, Ratcliffe held talks with Burnham, Coe and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.