Sir Jim Ratcliffe will not fund the development of a new stadium for Manchester United, according to a new report.
The billionaire businessman is set to invest a 25% stake in the football club as a first stage in a full takeover from the current owners, the Glazer family.
It has been widely reported that in addition to the £1.3 billion he is spending to acquire the 25% stake, he is also set to inject an initial £245 million toward stadium improvements.
There has been some discussion for years over whether the decaying Old Trafford, once the flagship for English stadia and now not even selected for Euro 2028, should be redeveloped or replaced.
According to The Daily Mail, “Sources close to Sir Jim have revealed that [he] has ruled out a £1.5billion new home.
“As part of his overhaul of the club, he will consider alternative plans to renovate and expand Old Trafford and improve facilities in and around the famous old ground.”
The outlet also claims that a huge chunk of that initial £245m will go towards improving training facilities rather than starting work on the stadium.
“It is estimated that between £150m and £200m has been earmarked to modernise the Carrington training ground,” the report states.
This suggests that phase one of the Old Trafford makeover could simply be to fix the leaking roof, which in itself would be a start.
A previous report by the same outlet claimed that the cost of renovating the stadium itself would start at £400 million, with a complete rebuild on the same site coming in at £1.5bn.
“The second option is a £400million expansion of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand up and over the railway line that runs behind it, an option that would take the capacity of the historic stadium beyond 80,000,” The Mail says.
A third option considered was to “leave the stadium structurally intact but conduct a comprehensive revamp of spectator and corporate areas on all four sides of the ground.”
The old management was believed to prefer the South Stand rebuild but whether Ratcliffe shares this view remains to be seen.