Manchester United have emailed staff asking them to come up with ideas to create a better atmosphere at Old Trafford if games are played at the stadium behind closed doors. Photo: Reuters
Manchester United have emailed staff asking them to come up with ideas to create a better atmosphere at Old Trafford if games are played at the stadium behind closed doors. Photo: Reuters

Man United plan to make Old Trafford sing, without supporters...

By Chris Wheeler Time of article published May 2, 2020

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Manchester United have emailed staff asking them to come up with ideas to create a better atmosphere at Old Trafford if games are played at the stadium behind closed doors.

The club’s chief operating officer Collette Roche sent the internal memo as United prepare for the possibility of playing their remaining four Premier League games in an empty stadium.

Sportsmail revealed this week that United have put their players on stand-by to return to training on May 18 ahead of a provisional restart date of June 12.

Now staff have been asked for suggestions to improve the atmosphere for the players in the stadium and viewers on television if Old Trafford stages games behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

United have four home league fixtures outstanding against Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham and Sheffield United as well as the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against LASK.

A club spokesman said: ‘We’ve seen a lot of colleagues from across the club contribute with brilliant ideas and input around our community response to the pandemic, so we’re harnessing that energy to look at ways we could innovate if it turns out we have to play at Old Trafford behind closed doors.

‘Everyone would prefer not to have to do that, but if that is what is decided, based on Government and Premier League guidelines, we wanted to think about how we make the experience as good as it can be — for the players and for the fans watching on TV.’

Sportsmail reported that broadcasters Sky Sports and BT are planning to give viewers the red button option of artificial fan noise if games have to be played behind closed doors.

It was also revealed that some clubs have considered following Borussia Monchen-gladbach’s example of having cardboard cut-outs of supporters to fill the empty stands.

United insiders stress that the email is part of a contingency plan based on games being played behind closed doors at Old Trafford rather than at a neutral venue. They say staff, who have not been furloughed, have already come up with helpful ideas and put their time to good use by doing volunteer work for the NHS or making food bank deliveries for theManchester United Foundation.

It’s not the first time the club have tried to improve the atmosphere at Old Trafford this season after creating a section in the Stretford End for fans who want to sing.

Daily Mail

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