Chris Lee, the chief architect in Manchester United’s stadium redevelopment project, has called on Sir Jim Ratcliffe to tear down Old Trafford.
This is according to The Telegraph, who have claimed, “Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been encouraged to knock down Manchester United’s iconic Old Trafford stadium and build a new one”.
After the billionaire’s Christmas Eve takeover, The Daily Mail stated that he has “pledged to invest £245m in the club, and one of his first big decisions is what to do with the outdated Old Trafford”.
The Peoples Person has recently relayed that the Old Trafford stadium is dilapidated and in a state of disrepair.
According to The Telegraph, there are “three options currently on the table”.
The possible options are to focus on a small makeover project, expand the south stand over railway line or build a totally new arena.
However, Populous chief executive, Chris Lee, is certain what is the right choice to make.
“The building is reaching the end of its natural life – the cabling, the electricity supplies, everything is nearing its sell by date. And the interiors are very cramped and difficult in places”.
He went on to state, “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. Yes, the initial outlay is obviously the highest of the three options but there is so much land available to develop there”.
Lee believes that there is the scope to do “something really innovative and exciting. There would be no space constrictions”.
Apparently, Ratcliffe is also acutely aware of the need to upgrade the stadium, which has been United’s home since 1910.
Populous believe that the fact the club could build on surrounding land means that “they could carry on using the existing ground while building work is underway, meaning no decline in matchday revenues”.
According to The Daily Mail, Old Trafford has become the butt of many jokes with Checkatrade (a site which connects homeowners with approved local tradespeople) putting up a giant poster taking aim at Old Trafford’s leaky roof within a stone’s throw of the stadium last month.
United fans will be excited by this news. On the one hand it would be sad to say goodbye to the iconic Old Trafford, but if they could build a new stadium right beside the old one, it would make the transition much easier.
Additionally, a club the size of United need a stadium which is best in class and sadly, The Theatre of Dreams is a long way from that as things currently stand.