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Erik ten Hag gets his way with new Manchester United players’ lounge after Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal failed

A picture of the old players' lounge, taken in 2003

A picture of the old players’ lounge, taken in 2003

Manchester United have built a new players’ lounge at Old Trafford after Erik ten Hag’s request for a dedicated space for the squad.

Ten Hag asked for a room in the south stand, known as the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand since April 2016, adjacent to the home dressing room where players can rendezvous, relax, dine and prepare for matches.

The lounge was completed in time for the home friendly win over Lens on Saturday.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho had both demanded a players’ lounge but their requests were refused. A senior club source half-joked that Ten Hag “asked the nicest”.

The upheaval to accommodate Ten Hag’s wish over the last 12 months has come at the cost of millions as the south stand hosts premium hospitality space, although United have offset losses by utilising areas of the east stand and the quadrants.

One room in the east stand that was previously used as office space is now a hybrid of workspace on weekdays and hospitality on matchday. Building work was still ongoing in the directors’ box when journalists walked past during the Lens game.

In the past, the United squad used to dine at Old Trafford prior to games but the expansion of the stadium’s hospitality sector forced them to use city centre hotels.

United believe the investment highlights the football-first approach that has been reinforced since Richard Arnold took over as chief executive in February 2022. The addition of a players’ lounge has taken place during the club’s strategic review, which has delayed plans to revamp or rebuild Old Trafford.

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