MANCHESTER UNITED fans are growing tired of their ageing stadium and new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to do something about it.
The British billionaire is exploring the idea of building a brand new ground for the Red Devils next to where Old Trafford currently sits.
PASir Jim Ratcliffe is exploring the idea of building a new home for Man Utd[/caption]
The new stadium would be situated behind the Stretford End of Old Trafford
The new home for Man Utd would be built directly behind the Stretford End on a piece of land currently owned by the club.
It would be erected between the Birdgewater Canal and the railway lines that run past Old Trafford at the moment.
United own a stretch of land surrounding the stadium that is used for car parking and offices, but could be re-purposed for a new ground.
Old Trafford is now 114 years old and fans have been complaining of a leaking roof, rusting metal and the dated venue lagging decades behind that of United’s biggest rivals.
And Racliffe has already vowed to pump in £237million for club infrastructure once his £1.3billion takeover is ratified by the Premier League – which is expected to be confirmed later this month.
The Ineos chief has enlisted the help of Stadium developers Populous to draft up some options to improve the club’s facilities.
Populous are behind some of the most impressive arena’s in the world including the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the iconic Wembley arch and the eye-catching Las Vegas Sphere.
The firm have put forward the option of either renovating Old Trafford for around £800m or starting a fresh by building a brand new 90,000-seater stadium dubbed the “Wembley of the north”.
The exciting option of a shiny new ground would cost considerably more though, with such a project likely to set the club back between £1.5bn and £2bn.
Populous CEO Chris Lee has urged Ratcliffe and Man Utd to opt for the idea of a new stadium rather than the redevelopment of the iconic Old Trafford.
Fans too are keen for the club to get cracking on the new ground with many taking to social media to voice their opinions.
One wrote: “Brilliant idea. Get on with it. Been to Old Trafford loads of times.
“Great place but a new stadium can still embrace elements from the existing structure. The history can be honoured while embracing the future.”
While another added: “Genuinely so excited for a new stadium. I’m looking towards the future.”
Ratcliffe’s Ineos are said to be looking for outside investment should they choose to embark on the construction of a new stadium.
They could also try and lobby the UK Government to help fund the £2bn venue as part of the ‘Levelling Up’ pledges.
Although former sports minister Tracey Crouch argued against the idea of public cash being splashed on a new stadium for Man Utd.
She told City AM: “Old Trafford may need upgrading to meet today’s standards, but funding should not come out of the taxpayer’s pocket to benefit the billionaires who own the club.
“Especially as other clubs like Bury have faced ruin, devastating the town around them, with no bailout from the public purse.”
Fans are growing tired of the 114-year-old Old Trafford
An artist’s impression of how a new stadium might look next to the existing Old Trafford