It turns out that the home of all that is wrong with modern football - sorry, Theatre of Dreams - is also the North West's premier outpost of environmental activism.
We've already had the shock of learning that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson cares almost as much about unnecessary road journeys as he does ruining the careers of blameless officials, as well as the news that Rio Ferdinand is worried about "natural disasters, sea levels, ice melting, fires" and has started touting solar panels as a potential solution.
But now it looks like Gary Neville could outdo both of them with his plans to build one of the UK's greenest homes.
The moustache-sporting former defender has, according to BBC reports, received planning permission for his proposed eco-friendly Teletubbies-style home on moorland between Bolton and Bury, which is expected to be built partially underground and feature green roofs and a wind turbine.
Bolton Council approved the plans in March, but referred the final decision to the government following local opposition. Luckily, it emerged this week that, while his Localism Bill looks set to cripple wind farm development across the country, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles felt no need to oppose Neville's dream of living like a Teletubby.
The Sceptic Tank can only hope this eco-warrior trend catches on, and is happily awaiting the day when the first footballer refuses to travel to a European tie not because he is angling for an extra £20k a week, but because he wants the club to offset the emissions from the flight.
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