Although less than five miles separate the respective grounds of both Manchester United and Manchester City, the two great rivals will go head-to-head in London on Sunday to contest the Community Shield.
But City legend Mike Summerbee says it would make far more sense for the encounter to take place at either Old Trafford or Eastlands to save the hard-earned cash of the supporters of both clubs, rather than force them to trek to Wembley.
“With the two Manchester teams together, I don’t see why they couldn’t have tossed a coin to play it at City or United,” he said.
“I played in the Charity Shield in the days before it was held at Wembley, and it was always played at the home ground of one of the sides taking part. As a one-off, it would have made sense to do that this time.
“You’ve got to look at the expense for the fans of getting down to London – it’s not cheap. If you were to ask Sir Alex Ferguson, I think he’d be of the same opinion, because he made a similar point before the FA Cup semi final derby.”
He added: “I don’t think it would have been a great disadvantage for either side playing away from home. Players thrive on performing at the big grounds.”
However, Summerbee, who played in four Shields during his time with City, believes the trophy has taken on a greater importance since it was permanently hosted at Wembley - and provides City with a glorious chance of adding more silverware to the trophy cabinet.
“The Charity Shield was always a prestigious event, but I think it’s grown since the move to Wembley," he continued.
“And for City, the game on Sunday provides a great chance to get a trophy. I know that Roberto Mancini and the players will have exactly the same attitude.”
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