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Major boost for new Man Utd ‘Wembley of the North’ stadium as council backs Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ambitious plans

MANCHESTER United have been handed a major boost for their new stadium as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ambitious plans have been backed by the council.

Trafford Council bosses have welcomed the proposed plans which could see the current Old Trafford replaced with a “Wembley of the North” and the ground also used as a national venue.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Old Trafford is 'tired' and is looking to build a new stadium

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Old Trafford is ‘tired’ and is looking to build a new stadiumCredit: PA
A new stadium is part of plans for a wider regeneration of the Trafford Wharf area

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A new stadium is part of plans for a wider regeneration of the Trafford Wharf areaCredit: AP

The new ground is part of plans to regenerate the wider Trafford Wharf area.

However, councillor Liz Patel has made it clear it is up to the club to find the money for a new stadium.

Trafford Council’s Wharfside Development plans are set to go out for public consultation next week, with the club’s plans a key part of those proposals.

The council has highlighted new stadium developments at Tottenham, Everton and Manchester City as good examples of how to regenerate an area and keep fans longer in the area on match days.

United’s Sir Jim, 71, told the BBC that Old Trafford, which has a capacity of 74,310, had become “tired and in need of refurbishment”.

He said any plan to build a new stadium which could also be used as a national ground, needed a “conversation” with the government about using public funds.

Ms Patel, who is leading the council’s redevelopment plans said a proposal for a Wembley of the North “would be wonderful”.

She said: “That is great ambition from Jim Ratcliffe and these plans match that in terms of the setting and the future of the area.”

It’s estimated a new stadium built on adjacent land could come with a £2billion price tag.

Ms Patel said the council would look for investment for the redevelopment plans, and “saw a role” for the council in “leading, guiding and securing” the funding.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants Government to help pay for £2BILLION Wembley of the North Man Utd stadium

However, she added: “How United get together the finances for their own stadium refurbishment would be separate.”

Ms Patel won cross-party support for the plans, which could take 20 years to be realised, at a meeting of the council’s executive on Monday night.

She said Trafford Council had worked with the planning team at Manchester United to design improvements in the area for fans as part of the masterplan.

Inside Ratcliffe’s Man Utd plans

Everything you need to know as Sir Jim Ratcliffe takes charge at Manchester United…

Ms Patel said: “We want to create a much more family-friendly space where people want to stay longer and have processional routes so it’s a lot safer for fans arriving on foot from tram stops or walking out from the city centre – as sometimes happens in European matches.”

Sir Jim has finally completed his deal to buy 27.7 per cent of Manchester United.

Old Trafford last hosted a Champions League final in 2003 as AC Milan beat Juventus on penalties.

Sir Jim has also spoken on a number of topics in which he also admitted that the door is not closed for Mason Greenwood to return to the club.

The Sun Online has approached Manchester United for comment.

Ratcliffe could propose a new venue on the land next to the current ground
Ratcliffe could propose a new venue on the land next to the current ground
Sir Jim's plans have the backing of Trafford Council

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Sir Jim’s plans have the backing of Trafford CouncilCredit: PA
Any new ground for Man Utd could become a 'Wembley of the North'

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Any new ground for Man Utd could become a ‘Wembley of the North’Credit: EPA

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