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United fan blocks City expansion by selling his land online

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Manchester United fan? Hate Manchester City? Go ahead and buy the same land that City are looking to purchase and redevelop into a training complex / business center.

The Manchester rivalry has taken an amusing turn with Manchester United fan and businessman Shaun O’Brien to divide the land at his vehicle recovery company, OB Trucks, near City’s Etihad Stadium, into 18,500 square-foot plots for sale in a bid to disrupt a proposed council order to make him sell it.

He is selling the plots for £250 each (you can get them here if you’re interested: Unite Against the City). Although a lot of what he’s saying is a joke (comparing United v City to David v Goliath – as if United were a struggling League One club), he’s got a fair point – he wants City to pay what he feels is an acceptable price for buying his land and he won’t be pushed aside without a fight.

And now, thanks to the Internet, he might just be able to fulfill the 5,000 minimum sales that are necessary to make the club negotiate individually and fairly for each plot.

The campaign was “to prevent Manchester City’s attempts to acquire our land in Eastlands, Manchester, in order to further their goals of football domination”, O’Brien wrote on the website.

At £250 / square-foot, the 18,500 square-foot land would be worth £4,625,000 – 4.6x more than the £1m offer City were willing to pay before moving for the proposed council order.

O’Brien said City had offered him 200,000 pounds for the land for the past two years, though they had said they would pay another 750,000 pounds for moving and expenses.

“But it’s just not enough,” he said. “I’ve been here for 15 years, I had no intention to sell (the land)… As a business who want my land to further their business they should come and sit down, negotiate and we’ll hack out a figure, whereas all along they’ve said we’ll give you 200,000 pounds or we’ll get the council to CPO you,” he said.

A compulsory purchase order has now been issued by Manchester City Council and the club to try to force O’Brien to sell at market value.

Of course if you’re a City fan you might want to buy the land yourself and then ‘give’ it back to the Club, and there’s nothing to stop the Club from ‘buying’ the land by proxy either – but at the very least this United fan has done more than just complain about City’s wealth – he’s found a way to make them uncomfortable. For any rival fan, that’s a great story to tell.

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Comments (5)

  1. Why go to the level of lying? He was offer 1 million pounds the Market price but he want them to pay over the odds. The guy want to make 1.25. Million and it’s only is own gain nothing else. Saying 200.000. Pounds lies but dont worry this attempt is feeble because he ordered to pay up. A bit late posting this, evil has no limits you just proved that. May God have mercy on your soul.

  2. So let me get this straight,
    City have offered this guy Market value for this land, which is a fair price and he wants them to pay 4 times what it’s worth!!
    One word springs to mind,
    GREEDY

  3. There’s a CPO on its way. I wonder if this fella will still have the money to reimburse all his buyers? I doubt it. Scam alert!

  4. VERY old news…..and just three letters in reply really Compulsory Purchase Order.

    Finito.

    CTID

  5. So let’s get this straight – this guy is offered a FAIR price (anyone who knows the area may say it is more than fair) for his land so that City can convert it into training facilities, not only for the Club, but the local community to use. The area is very run-down so this investment will create jobs and give local kids and sports clubs top quality facilities to use – but this guy refuses to sell… because he’s a red and it is City who are buying… and they called us Bitter!
    Also worth pointing out that if he did sell for his asking price, buyers would then have to pay to register the land at the land registry – the land will be bought CPO eventually regardless – could this mean that his selling the land could be deemed fraudulent?