Football Trade Directory

Man Utd announce there won't be an expansion to Old Trafford 'in the near future'

eNewsletter

Manchester United have been put off expanding the capacity of Old Trafford "in the near future" because of logistical problems.

Plans have been drawn up three times in the last decade with a view to redeveloping the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand. That would take the capacity of England's biggest club ground to over 80,000.

However, with a railway line running directly behind it, and houses just beyond that, work on that stand is considered hugely complicated.

Unlike Liverpool, who last year increased the capacity of Anfield to more than 54,000 while continuing to host matches, United would probably have to vacate their stadium to allow the work to take place.

Both Tottenham and Chelsea - who will move into 60,­000-capacity stadiums over the next few years - have the neutral option of Wembley as a home while work is in progress, but the only feasible local alternatives to Old Trafford are owned by rival clubs.

"It's a very complex engineering challenge to deliver," Manchester United managing director Richard Arnold said.

"It would be a multi-season challenge and it isn't certain that there's a way of doing it which doesn't render us homeless."

From the start of next season, Old Trafford's capacity will fall from just under 75,000 to 73,300 because of work required to accommodate higher numbers of disabled supporters.

JC

Posted in Club news on