English Premier League football club Manchester United has agreed a partnership with Tom Kerridge which will see the high-profile chef bring his award-winning food and dining experiences to Old Trafford throughout the 2019-20 season.
Kerridge is known for his two pubs in Marlow, Buckinghamshire – The Hand & Flowers and The Coach – as well as his London restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill. His partnership with United comes with Kerridge set to open his first Manchester outpost, The Bull & Bear, within the Stock Exchange Hotel next month.
The tie-up will see Kerridge’s food served across a range of areas at Old Trafford, including his signature pies, which will be available to fans at a selection of kiosks on a matchday. Kerridge’s trademark modern British dishes will also be served in the newly refurbished International suite, while he will design the menu and personally oversee every aspect of service delivery for a number of games in No.7 at Old Trafford, the club’s most premium matchday VIP experience.
This offering will commence with the game versus Liverpool on October 20, with prices starting at £1,666.67 (€1,856/$2,039). Guests will have the opportunity to spend time with Kerridge throughout the day.
Manchester United’s chief operating officer, Collette Roche, said: “Tom is a huge Manchester United fan and is passionate about delivering great food for all visitors to Old Trafford, which is really important to us.
“We know how sought-after Tom is, and believe his award-winning food will be a fantastic addition that has the potential to transform the offering at Old Trafford on an even bigger scale over time.”
Kerridge added: “Having been a Manchester United fan all my life, it has been a dream of mine to work with this special club since I became a chef, and I’m thrilled to now be doing so. It will take a bit of getting used to not being in my usual seat in the ground on a matchday, but I can’t wait to get started and for fans to enjoy my food. I hope this collaboration is just the beginning.”
In other news, United has received criticism over matchday safety at Old Trafford following the result of an inquiry into the death of a fan during the derby match against Manchester City in December 2017.
Eighty-year-old Richard Whale, a lifelong fan of the club, died from head injuries sustained after falling down a flight of steps whilst leaving the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand towards the end of the match.
The PA Media news agency reported that while the cause of death was ruled as accidental at an inquest in November 2018, the coroner noted that the positioning of two stewards had been a contributory factor.
A ‘Report to Prevent Future Deaths’ written by the coroner, Alison Mutch, stated that the stewards were stood at either side of the staircase, thereby narrowing the exit and blocking access to both handrails. The report also noted a “lack of awareness by the stewards of their surroundings,” recommending changes at Old Trafford due to “a risk future deaths will occur unless action is taken”.
United said it has acted upon the recommendations made in the report. A club spokesperson added: “Everyone at Manchester United was deeply saddened by the death of Mr Whale and the club continues to extend its sincere condolences to his family.
“The health and safety of all supporters and visitors at Old Trafford is of utmost importance to Manchester United and we go to great lengths to ensure procedures are monitored and adhered to at all times. We work with independent safety inspectors from the local council, as well as national stadium safety inspectors, to ensure the correct procedures are administered.
“We were fully compliant with all applicable regulations at the time of this tragic accident and the coroner’s investigation resulted in a conclusion of accidental death. However, we constantly seek to learn and improve on our procedures and we welcomed the observations in the coroner’s report on opportunities for further risk reduction, which we have now implemented.”