An artist’s impression Manchester City’s £100m training complex. (MCFC)
An artist’s impression Manchester City’s £100m training complex. (MCFC)

A Manchester United fan has taken on his team's rivals, Manchester City, by blocking their plans to build a £100m training complex on land he owns.

Shaun O'Brien has divided the land at his vehicle recovery company OB Trucks, near Man City's Etihad Stadium, into 18,500 sq ft plots, which he is selling for £250 each in a bid to disrupt a legal order forcing him to sell the site to the local council.

Through his website, Unite Against the City, O'Brien is selling the individual plots of land to Manchester United fans and "anybody else that feels strongly about our David & Goliath situation" so City will be forced to negotiate for each plot "fairly".

The campaign has been set up to "to prevent Manchester City's attempts to acquire our land in Eastlands, Manchester, in order to further their goals of football domination", the website says.

O'Brien told Reuters that he was close to selling the minimum 5,000 plots of land needed club to force Manchester City into negotiating individually and fairly for each square foot.

A compulsory purchase order has been issued by Manchester City Council and the club to force O'Brien to sell at market value.

"We have made a compulsory purchase order for this land. This would not have been necessary if Mr O'Brien had been prepared to sell it at a realistic price and accept the football club's offer of help to relocate his business," a council spokesman said.

"The Unite Against City scheme is in no one's best interests except Mr O'Brien's. The valuation he is placing on this land is far in excess of anything in Manchester and would make it equivalent to the most expensive plots in the most exclusive areas of London."

At £250 per square foot, the 18,500 sq ft site would be worth £4,625,000 - four and a half times more than the £1m that was originally offered to O'Brien by the club before the compulsory purchase order.

O'Brien said City had offered him £200,000 for the land within the past two years, with an additional £750,000 for moving and expenses which he refused.

"It's just not enough," O'Brien told the Manchester Evening News. "I've been here for 15 years. I had no intention to sell. As a business who wants my land to further their business they should come and sit down, negotiate and we'll hack out a figure. All along they've said we'll give you £200,000 or we'll get the council to CPO you."