A Manchester United Hong Kong pre-season friendly is unlikely due to high price tag, says senior official
- Premier League club’s appearance fee reported to be in excess of £2 million
- Report says United will return to Asia-Oceania for pre-season next year
Hong Kong remains a question mark for Manchester United’s pre-season tour next year after the Premier League club priced themselves out of a clash against a local side, a prominent local club official said.
ESPN reported the 20-time English champions will visit this part of world in addition to Australia in the summer of 2019, rather than the United States, where they have visited in four of the past five seasons.
The club official did not provide any exact figure of the cost, but it is believed the fee would exceed £2 million pounds to secure a United appearance in Hong Kong.
Brian Leung Hung-tak, chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association, said he had heard nothing about the visit of the Premier League side next summer.
According to the ESPN report, United “will play games in Perth as they prepare for the 2019-20 season, with a clash against another English side, possibly Leeds United, pencilled in for July. They are also set to face A-League side Perth Glory at Optus Stadium, according to reports in Australia.
Manchester United last visited Australia in 2013 when David Moyes led a team against the Australian A-League All Stars in Sydney. The trip also included stops in Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong before the start of the Premier League season.
They played against Hong Kong champions Kitchee, who needed to secure government funding of HK$8 million from the Mega Events Fund to make the match possible.
The star-studded tourists easily beat Kitchee 5-2 despite the atrocious condition of the pitch at Hong Kong Stadium.
United were forced to move to Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground for pre-match practise sessions in order not to aggravate the pitch in So Kon Po further after days of heavy rain.
Three years later during their summer Far East trip, United called off their friendly against Manchester City in Beijing because of an unplayable pitch at the National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest, in the Chinese capital.