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Sir Jim Ratcliffe urged to demolish ‘outdated’ Old Trafford

Sir Jim Ratcliffe urged to demolish 'outdated' Old Trafford

British mogul Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been advised to demolish Old Trafford in favour of constructing a ‘really innovative and exciting’ home ground for Manchester United.

Ratcliffe acquired a 25% stake in United on Christmas Eve, and the INEOS chairman already has plenty on his plate, although the agreement with United still needs to be ratified by the Premier League.

Plans over restructuring the club have already begun, with Ratcliffe pledging to invest £245 million in the club, and the subject of the decaying and outdated Old Trafford has emerged as a hot topic. 

Options presented by architectural firm Populous and management consultants Legends International include a small makeover that includes expanding the south stand while redeveloping the rest of the ground, or constructing an entirely new stadium. 

Populous Chief Executive Officer Chris Lee has urged United to consider the new build option, citing its potential cost-effectiveness, architectural innovation and the availability of ample development space.

“Well, I would say this wouldn’t I, but I feel the new build may well turn out to be the most cost-effective solution,” Lee told The Telegraph.

“Yes, the initial outlay is obviously the highest of the three possible options, but there is so much land available to develop there. 

“They [United] could carry on using the existing ground while building work is underway, meaning no decline in matchday revenues.

“Architecturally, in the space available you could do something really innovative and exciting. There would be no space constrictions.”

While redeveloping and expanding Old Trafford would cost the club over £800m over an eight-year period, a new stadium could set United back approximately £2 billion.

Ratcliffe has pledged £158m upon completion of his deal, with a further £79m by the end of next year in addition to his purchase price for his investment.

However, with the Glazers set to pocket over £500m from the deal, questions have been raised about how the mouth-watering project would be funded.