Richard Arnold, managing director of Manchester United, has said the English Premier League football club would need to play its home games at another venue, should the planned redevelopment of its Old Trafford Stadium go ahead.
Plans are in place to increase capacity at Old Trafford, United’s home since 1910, from 76,000 to 90,000 by adding an extra tier to the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.
However, such is the size of the engineering challenge with this project that the work would have to take place over a number of seasons and would most likely require United to find a temporary home while the redevelopment took place.
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Arnold said: “We haven’t left the easiest stand until last. The Sir Bobby Charlton Stand is the last unexpanded stand.
“There’s not much space on either side of the stand meaning that it’s a very complex engineering challenge. It would be a multi-season challenge and it isn’t certain there’s a way of doing it which doesn’t render us homeless.”
United’s Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur has faced a similar situation this season, with the club having to relocate to Wembley Stadium while work on its new stadium take place.
Arnold said United has a shortage of temporary homes in Manchester and it will be a challenge to find a suitable venue.
“We have the biggest fanbase in the country and we’re not in London, where we could use Wembley,” Arnold said. “So that’s not a light challenge and we don;t want to give up the home advantage we have here.”
Image: Max Pixel