Major sporting event could be MOVED after 26 years due to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s controversial Man Utd plans

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RUGBY LEAGUE chiefs are drawing up alternative venues for Super League’s Grand Final should Manchester United’s Old Trafford home be bulldozed.

Except for 2020 due to Covid, United’s stadium has hosted the showpiece since 1998 — but Red Devils’ new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has the ground earmarked for a massive redevelopment.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has some bold plans for Old Trafford which could impact Rugby League chiefs

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has some bold plans for Old Trafford which could impact Rugby League chiefsCredit: PA
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

That could mean a temporary shift of venue with Manchester City’s Etihad likely to be the preferred choice.

Newcastle’s St James’ Park and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which have hosted Magic Weekend and the Challenge Cup final respectively, are also in the frame.

Ratcliffe, 71, has admitted Old Trafford has become “tired” and needs updating.

To that end, the Ineos chief’s preference is to build a new stadium on the land owned by Man Utd.

One ambitious plan comes under the guise of Ratcliffe wanting to build a so-called “Wembley of the North” with the help of taxpayer funds.

Another includes a 90,000 seater stadium with a new Stretford End.

He said: “It’s about time someone built a national stadium in the north of England.

“If it can be achieved, it would clearly be my preference.

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“I would be very excited for the north of England.”

A stunning step towards this goal includes a five-year plan to redevelop Old Trafford to be a site which stretches down to the water and links to MediaCity.

Erik ten Hag insists he does have Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s backing amid rumours Man Utd boss faces sack in summer

Amenity plans include a five-star hotel and a host of other facilities to accommodate Man Utd’s global supporter base, with only a megastore and museum currently at the club’s disposal.

Huge infrastructure projects like the one proposed on the grounds of Old Trafford are nothing new to Ineos, who are currently building a £5billion petrochemicals plant in Antwerp, Belgium.

Ratcliffe completed his deal for a 27.7 per cent stake in Man Utd in February.

Inside Ratcliffe’s Man Utd plans

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



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Major sporting event could be MOVED after 26 years due to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s controversial Man Utd plans

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