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Industry News

Man United favours squad enhancement over stadium work

English Premier League football club Manchester United will reportedly suspend plans to expand its Old Trafford home stadium in order to free up more funds to strengthen its playing squad.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, plans are in place to boost the capacity from 75,000 to 88,000, as well as enhance corporate hospitality at the venue.

However, citing a club insider, the newspaper said the club is keen to support manager Jose Mourinho in the player transfer market this summer.

Since arriving at United in May 2016, Mourinho has spent approximately £300m (€336.2m/$413.4m) on player signings, but the club is some way off the pace in the Premier League, currently sitting 19 points behind top side and arch rival Manchester City.

The report comes after Mourinho recently criticised Old Trafford for its lack of atmosphere, while fans have also complained about the layout of the venue and called on the club to take action.

In recent years, United has tried a number of projects to improve atmosphere at the stadium, including introducing a singing section in the 2014-15 season.

However, the club has maintained a key focus on expanding the capacity of Old Trafford, specifically the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.

It was previously thought that this part of the venue could not be extended due to a train line that runs behind the structure, but new technology means the club can now build on top of the stand to make it higher, without risk of affecting the nearby railway.

Should the expansion project eventually go ahead, Old Trafford would become the second-largest stadium in the UK behind Wembley and the third-largest in Europe, with Barcelona’s Nou Camp in Spain some way ahead with a capacity of 99,354.

Image: karinasetiawan