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Ratcliffe wants to build new stadium for Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has hinted that Manchester United could leave Old Trafford and construct a new stadium in the near future.

The British billionaire has completed his minority purchase of the Red Devils and has this week discussed his plans for improvement and progress.

Among the major issues at Manchester United has been the decline of Old Trafford, with criticism of the Glazer family for neglecting infrastructure. The 74,310-capacity ground, which has been the club’s home since 1910, has deteriorated in recent years and fallen behind rival venues.

 

Old Trafford was overlooked to host fixtures at the 2028 European Championship and has not hosted a Champions League final for 21 years, when AC Milan beat Juventus in 2003.

Ratcliffe believes the best option could be to construct a new stadium on the current site that would rival Wembley as a national stadium for the north.

“It’s about time someone built a national stadium in the north of England,” Ratcliffe said in an interview with the BBC.

“If it can be achieved, it would clearly be my preference. I would be very excited for the north of England.

“Trafford Park is where the industrial revolution began. If you look at that region of Manchester today – only a mile from the centre – it is tired and neglected and parts are quite run down.

“There is quite a big argument, in my view, for regenerating that whole south side of Manchester. The nucleus of it would be building a new world-class state-of-the-art stadium which could take England games, the FA Cup final, Champions League finals. It could serve the north of England.

“There is a bias in the UK in terms of where national stadiums have been built – they are all in the south. There is a lot of talk about levelling up. HS2 has been cancelled and all that is going to be spent on the rail network in London. The people in the north pay their taxes just as the people in the south.

 

“Why shouldn’t there be a venue in the north of England for England to play at? Why does everyone in the north have to go to the south for the semi-finals of the FA Cup?

“I think, as part of a regeneration project, there has to be a conversation with the national government. The north deserves some thought as well as the south, I think, if it is a national stadium.”

Read – Ratcliffe warns there’s no quick fix for Manchester United

See more – Who should solve England’s defensive midfield dilemma?

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