Manchester United's players are up in arms over Louis van Gaal's decision to convert the club's crèche into an extended medical room, the latest change ordered by the Dutch manager as he looks to stamp his authority at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils boss decided to completely remove the area where staff could leave their children on matchday while socialising with their wives and girlfriends in the lounge next door, much to the annoyance of several senior stars.
Previously, the crèche had been situated between the medical room and players' lounge, but has now been disbanded to make room for a significantly larger treatment area. The lounge has also been moved with the old site now split in half to incorporate a pre-match warm-up zone and a designated interview room specifically for overseas media rights holders.
The social sector has been relocated to a different part of the stadium but it's understood that the children's crèche has not been replaced as it doesn't form part of Van Gaal's Manchester United revolution moving forward.
His decision to alter long-standing club traditions is viewed by insiders as a big risk, with the 63-year-old risking upsetting a number of senior figures.
"Scrapping the historic players' room and creche has created a bit of a stir," a source told The Sun, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "But Van Gaal was adamant with what he wanted and everyone has had to fall in line.
"The players' lounge is now a warm-up area and team members are invited into a different part of the stadium to spend time with their families. [But] the creche is gone and has not been moved elsewhere."
Van Gaal has made a number of sweeping changes since being installed as David Moyes's successor during the summer, all of which form part of his plan to bring the glory days back to Manchester United.
One of his first requests was a significant overhaul of the club's Carrington training base, with two new training pitches identical to the Old Trafford playing surface installed, as well as sleeping pods for players to rest and recuperate between double sessions.
The overall cost surpassed the £3 million mark, and included the implementation of a new £500,000 video surveillance system specifically brought in so that Van Gaal can keep a closer eye on his squad and analyse each of his players more thoroughly.
More recent alterations include the introduction of a strict 1pm mealtime with the rectangular canteen tables swapped for circular ones, and all players ordered to communicate in the native English tongue.
With each little detail scrutinised, the veteran coach will continue to examine the impact these changes to old habits have, not only on the collective team spirit but also the level of performances on the pitch.
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