Fans queue to buy Maine Road heritage

MANCHESTER CITY’S famous Maine Road stadium went under the hammer yesterday in a seven-hour auction that saw everything go from turnstiles to the boardroom table.

That table, thumped a few times in the Francis Lee era, went for £460, the door to the managers' office brought £70 and the front doors to Maine Road £600.

A steady stream of fans, more than 1,000 in all, marched into Maine Road to see the heritage sold off.

Eighty years of history in Moss Side has ended and all the proceeds will be pumped back into regeneration schemes for the district of Manchester that has been their home.

More than £10,000 was raised in the first hour alone, and when the 700-plus lots had been sold, charities were looking at a £100,000 windfall.

The main cash will come today when tender bids close for everything from the scoreboard, main banks of seating and the floodlights. The final total could approach £400,000.

The bigger lots have interested the likes of Preston, Norwich and Stockport County, and it is clear City's history will live on at a number of grounds.

Mark Perry, spokesman for Manchester auctioneers Smith Hodgkinson, said: "Over 4,000 seats have already been sold at £12 each to season-ticket holders.

"People can buy a square foot of the pitch for a tenner, but the money will come from the big bidders."

Smith Hodgkinson has made a mark in football by handling the end of The Dell and Filbert Street recently, and they have already been earmarked for Anfield in a couple of years when the projected new stadium in Stanley Park is built.

Next month the bulldozers will move in and one of the country's most famous arenas will be no more. City have already moved closer to their roots the futuristic City of Manchester Stadium in Eastlands.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox