Sir Jim Ratcliffe's £1.5billion 'Old Trafford plan' could see iconic Man Utd ground 'demolished'

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Manchester United have played at Old Trafford for 114 years but could follow Premier League rivals in building a more modern stadium.

Building a brand new £1.5billion stadium on land surrounding Old Trafford is under consideration as part of discussions at Manchester United - with Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly wanting to create a 'Wembley of the North'.

The future of Old Trafford has been the topic of recent debate at United, with the once iconic ground now stagnant and neglected under the controversial ownership of the Glazers. Little to no significant work has been done on the stadium, which has become the source of mockery among rival fans who have enjoyed investment at their respective clubs.

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Investment in infrastructure was a key pillar of Ratcliffe's pitch to be a part of United and he will take control of footballing operations at the club, once his 28.9 per cent stake is fully ratified. As well as the initial £1.03billion proposal, the INEOS chief set aside a further £237m to be injected into Old Trafford.

But The Telegraph now reports that ambitious plans to bring United into the modern era includes potentially erecting a new, state-of-the-art stadium on land next to Old Trafford. Ratcliffe is keen to have a world-class facility in the north of England which can rival the 90,000-capacity Wembley as England's flagship ground.

Ratcliffe is keen to make his mark on Manchester with what a source told The Telegraph could be an ‘absolute state-of-the-art, knock-it-out-of-the-park, ‘wow’ stadium.’ The petrochemicals billionaire is opposed to leaving the Old Trafford area to relocate but a new ground on the same land is thought to be an option.

Redevelopment of Old Trafford very much remains on the table but presents its own problems, namely trying to bring what is an old building into the modern era. The development of a brand new stadium would be far more costly - at least £1.5bn according to the report - but would bring the club alongside the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham, who have all found new homes since the turn of the century.

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Expansion and modernisation of the current stadium is thought to cost around £800million, and Ratcliffe is already said to be in talks with Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, about potential funding opportunities through the ‘Levelling Up’ scheme. Alongside a new ground could be a sport and entertainment village which would bring money into the local economy and provide jobs.

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