Sir Jim Ratcliffe reveals ideal capacity of new Man Utd stadium

Manchester United would look to build a stadium with a capacity of 100,000 if they decide to leave Old Trafford, according to shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe and INEOS completed the purchase of a 28% stake in United last month and the club have since confirmed plans to review the future of Old Trafford. A task force featuring Lord Sebastian Coe, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and United legend Gary Neville has been set up to assess the next steps.

Since taking control of football operations at United, Ratcliffe has been vocal about his desire to create a state-of-the-art stadium that could act as a ‘Wembley of the north’.

Speaking on the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast, Ratcliffe spoke further about his plans to either renovate Old Trafford or build a new stadium on the adjacent land owned by the club.


Ratcliffe has grand plans for Man Utd / VALERY HACHE/GettyImages

“Manchester United are arguably the greatest club in the world,” he said. “Definitely in the top three clubs in the world. They are probably the biggest sports brand worldwide. It’s a bit like Coca-Cola – anywhere you go in the world, they’ve heard of Manchester United.

“It needs to have a stadium that is befitting the club and the brand. That might have been the case 20 years ago, but it isn’t today. [Old Trafford] is a little bit tired.

“If you look at what Real Madrid are doing with the Bernabeu and Barcelona with the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu is fabulous. It’s like a cauldron of noise. The Nou Camp is enormous and they are spending a lot of money revamping it.

“You look at the Premier League, we don’t have anything that compares. And yet the Premier League is several times bigger than the Spanish league in terms of size, scale and importance today. That’s where all the money is with TV. The Premier League needs to have some grounds which are the equal of our European competitors.

“We can refurbish the ground and have a fantastic stadium, that will take about a billion to do that, and the club can shoulder that burden. But we have got this opportunity to build a new ground if we choose to. We’ve got enough space to build a completely new ground.

“If we build a completely new ground, it would be state of the art, world-class, [have a capacity of] 90,000 or even 100,000. I think that then provides a platform for some of the big competitions in the north of England. Why shouldn’t England play in the north? Why is the FA Cup final always in the south?

“Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have won 10 Champions Leagues. London [clubs] have won two Champions Leagues. There are occasions where Liverpool are providing six or seven players to the England team. Football is just as important to the north as the south – and arguably more so.”


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