These are the problems with the refurbishment of Old Trafford

These are the problems with the refurbishment of Old Trafford

a lot Billions.

– Maybe it is Glazer Biggest sin: How Old Trafford fell into disrepair, says Eivind Holth of United.no and the UNO podcast.

Because one of the questions that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the new minority owners of INEOS have to decide is what to do with historic Old Trafford – Manchester United's home ground for more than 100 years.

Renovating to an acceptable level also in the future will cost, according to estimates, about £1 billion, i.e. about NOK 13 billion.

Building a completely new factory would likely cost twice as much: NOK 27 billion.

It's not chump change for a club already mired in debt. At the same time, there is agreement that something must be done. The plans had been around for a long time, and gained momentum shortly after the Ratcliffe acquisition.

– I would love to do that. It would be great for the whole of northern England. It was where the Industrial Revolution began, a very important area that has been neglected. Ratcliffe, 71, told the BBC after participating in the London Marathon last April that breathing life into the region and building “Wembley in northern England” would be a wonderful project.

He's open about the fact that it's a new building that he's really drawn to.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Billionaire, minority owner of Manchester United through INEOS and Tamarin.

The decay is evident: they occasionally suffered from roof leaks; Root (!) IT systems and the electrical system date back to prehistoric times.

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He is simply not worthy of a club of United's size – something even Norwegian electricians can see with the naked eye during a football trip:

Demolish or renovate?

Meanwhile, plans are now underway to completely modernize the area around Old Trafford, with extensive social boosting for the entire area.

It is planned to create 5,000 new homes, new businesses and closer connections to Manchester city centre.

It's not just the defense that's leaking: a thunderstorm ahead of the Manchester derby in April 2019 revealed that it's by no means easy to stay dry under the roof at Old Trafford. Photograph: Karl Riessen/Reuters/NTB

A working group has been formed led by Lord Sebastian Coe – Chairman of the London 2012 Organizing Committee. VG spoke to several sources in the working group while working on this article.

Also among the members is legend Gary Neville. He is one of the owners and promoters behind Hotel Football, which is located a stone's throw from Old Trafford.

– The club must deeply regret not doing so themselves. “He's very articulate, and he's done well outside of football since he retired,” Hulth says of Neville.

The football arena will be the focus of this renaissance. That is why the club must make the important decision of keeping Old Trafford or starting from scratch.

Renovating the existing arena has clear advantages. It is a historic arena, a symbol of Manchester United as a powerhouse in world football. It may be the cheapest option.

However, many obstacles remain. First of all, the working space is limited, as Old Trafford has a canal on one side and a railway line on the other.

The latter makes renovation and expansion more complicated. But it also presents an opportunity: by restructuring the railway lines, it is possible to facilitate increased capacity along the train lines in the new area around Old Trafford.

There is therefore hope that the club will be able to secure financial support from the transport authorities for the entire project.

It is the south side of the stands that has the greatest potential for development in terms of number of seats. Here you can see the difference between the “east stand” and the south side, the latter being located towards the railway:

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Show me the money

This brings us to another important point.

– Is the club really capable of dealing with this matter? We are talking about two billion pounds for the new stadium and billion in renovations. Holth says these are huge sums for a club already deep in debt.

The latest financial report revealed a debt of Just over NOK 10 billion.

Certain sections of fans hope so Share the topic You can help finance it. In this way, fans around the world will be able to buy the club and take ownership while at the same time contributing financially to the project.

It would also dilute the ownership of the Glazers and Ratcliffe family, making it seem unlikely at this point.

Majestic: Old Trafford has been the venue of many historic matches and has been nicknamed the 'Theatre of Dreams'. Photograph: John Soper/AP/NTP

Another possibility is simply asking fans to pay through increased ticket costs or other less popular solutions. There is also the possibility of other private investors. However, it is difficult to envision the project without the club taking on more debt.

– Funding should come mainly from the club and owners when it comes to the stadium. “It has to come from the club,” Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham recently told The Athletic.

The mayor also participates in the committee.

Ratcliffe has also publicly sent his appeal to the authorities for financial support, but has received nothing so far very Positive signals.

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The club's big advantage is that it owns a lot of land around Old Trafford, which means it has a greater degree of control. It would be possible to build a new stadium alongside the existing one.

The new stadium could see Manchester United continuing to play at Old Trafford, with the same spectator capacity, until the new stadium is ready. Tottenham Stadium in London is a natural comparison. The versatile ability of the arena means that Spurs' income has risen significantly.

If they decide to renew, there will be long periods of reduced capacity and accompanying negative consequences.

This could lead to significant income losses in the short term, but Liverpool and Real Madrid have undertaken similar renovations and are unlikely to complain now that they are completed.

In order to make their decision, they must, according to Burnham, make the decision during the second half of 2024. Then there is a long process of planning, approval of building plans, consultation and so on, but perhaps the most important point:

Now something seems to be happening.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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