Football NewsSir Jim Ratcliffe Progress on The “New 90,000 Old Trafford”
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Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have approached potential investment partners both home and abroad as they rapidly seek to refurbish Old Trafford.

In a wide-ranging special report ahead of next week’s expected confirmation of the petrochemical billionaire’s 25 per cent stake in his boyhood club, an option to move away from Old Trafford has already been ditched.

The group is leaning towards a rebuild on land at the side of United’s iconic home, with the hope that the project will be done in five years or sooner.

A five-star hotel along with United-themed attractions are being considered as part of a huge redevelopment. A 90,000 ‘new Old Trafford’ could also feature a ‘new Stretford End’.

Tottenham‘s sublime new manor, along with its single-tier, 17,500-capacity ‘Kop’ style stand behind a goal, may well be recreated on a larger scale as part of a 90,000, state-of-the-art venue.

Insiders say INEOS are wasting no time as they seek to transform the Premier League giants.

It has already been reported that talks have taken place with local politicians with regards to government involvement, including mayor of Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

What can also be disclosed is that talks with the Football Association at some stage are likely over luring some England matches away from Wembley to what is hoped would become a Wembley of the North.

The view is that such a redevelopment, which stretches from Old Trafford down to the water and links the area with MediaCity, would take around five years.

While nothing is set in stone, a 5 star-hotel and facilities to cater for those who travel to United from across the planet, who currently have a megastore and modest museum to entertain them on non-matchdays, is also highly likely.

INEOS have experience in finding funding for vast infrastructure projects and are currently in the process of building a new £5bn chemical plant in Antwerp, Belgium.

Agreement over financing would need to be reached with majority owners the Glazers, who are understood to be happy to let INEOS take the lead.

Any debt would have to be serviced and repaid but would be a different prospect than the existing debt from the Glazers’ leveraged buyout as it would be going on a facility that would significantly increase the club’s revenues.

A straight cash payment in a football stadium is deemed highly unlikely by government insiders. They point to the fact that other public-funding backed stadia often have a variety of uses and are, or have been, multi-sport venues and or part of a bid for a major sporting event.

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, for example, was the centrepiece of Manchester’s successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Old Trafford was not selected as a venue for the UK and Ireland’s bid to host the 2028 European Championship finals.