Manchester City has made it clear that it intends to dominate world soccer for decades to come. But one Manchester United fan, Shaun O’Brien, plans to fight City — foot-by-foot if necessary — to prevent that from happening, according to the Associated Press.
O’Brien owns a plot of land in Manchester that City wants. The world’s richest club plans to build a £100 million ($158 million) practice facility on an 80-acre site near the Etihad Stadium. O’Brien’s vehicle recovery company sits on part of the site, and he’s not giving it up easily.
First, the club offered him £200,000 ($314,000) for the 18,500 square foot plot. He refused that offer. The club then enlisted the help of the local council (city government) to force him to sell the land at what it considers fair market value. It issued a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to O’Brien that would require him to sell the run-down land.
The businessman’s response was to divide the plot into 18,500 individual square foot parcels, and sell them online to buyers from around the world for £250 ($392) each. His website went live on Feb. 6 with one stated purpose.
“To prevent Manchester City’s attempts to acquire our land in Eastlands, Manchester, in order to further their goals of football domination”, the statement says.
O’Brien did not reveal how many had been sold, but he said business is brisk.
Photo via Flickr/Paolo Camera
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