AO Arena alleges Co-op Live’s licensing application is ‘simply unlawful’

A row between Manchester’s two largest arenas has deepened, with the AO Arena suggesting Co-op Live’s licence application is ‘simply unlawful’.
But Co-op Live hit back at the AO Arena by accusing it of making a ‘ludicrous and disingenuous’ objection to the £385 million venue’s opening. Its barrister, Jeremy Phillips KC, also repeated claims that AO’s objection was ‘only about trade protection’.
His comments came as the hearing into the licence application came to a close after two days of discussion in the Town Hall — which have featured mud-slinging from both sides.
Gary Grant, representing AO Arena operators ASM Global, said his client took an interest because ‘we are significant stakeholders in Manchester’s cultural and leisure life’.
“It’s important that when a new arena comes in that reputation is not d …