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Manchester United Faces Criticism Over Women’s Team Facilities Amid Renovations

Manchester, June 28, 2024, The Europe Today: Manchester United is facing renewed criticism over its treatment of the women’s team after reports surfaced that the women’s setup will be temporarily moved into portable facilities to accommodate the men’s team during renovations at the club’s training ground. The news, first reported by The Guardian, comes shortly after the club’s new minority owner, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, admitted to Bloomberg that his focus had primarily been on the men’s team. This development coincides with a second consecutive summer exodus of key players from the women’s team.

The Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the trade union representing professional footballers in England and Wales, has been made aware of concerns about United’s management of its women’s team for the second time. The first instance of discontent was voiced in 2021 when players expressed frustration over the time taken to appoint a successor to former head coach Casey Stoney, who had reportedly been dissatisfied with the budget and facilities available to her.

According to The Athletic, the PFA is prepared to engage in discussions with United regarding the environment provided for the women’s team, which won the FA Cup in May, the first senior women’s honor in the club’s history.

Renovation work began last week on a £50 million ($63.2 million) revamp of United’s men’s training facilities at the Carrington training center in southwest Manchester. The project is led by the renowned Mancunian architect Norman Foster, who also designed the glass dome on the roof of the Reichstag building in Berlin. The renovation, set to last throughout the upcoming 2024/25 season, follows the completion of a new, state-of-the-art £10 million women’s and youth academy facility last summer. This facility is now set to prioritize the men’s team, while the women’s team will be temporarily housed in portable buildings.

“Temporary adaptations will be made to the rest of the Carrington site to ensure players and staff from all our teams can continue to operate successfully next season,” United said in a statement announcing the renovations.

United reportedly considered various options for housing the women’s team, including temporarily relocating them from Carrington. Ultimately, the club decided that continuing to train on the same pitches and having access to the same nutritional facilities was preferable, despite the inconvenience of moving changing rooms, meeting rooms, office spaces, and communal areas into portable buildings.

This situation highlights ongoing concerns about the club’s commitment to its women’s team and raises questions about the equitable treatment of all athletes within the organization.