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Manchester United face huge challenge to enlarge Old Trafford

Manchester United fear they could be left temporarily ‘homeless’ if an attempt is made to enlarge Old Trafford.

The ground already holds the largest capacity of any league football venue in England 74,994 but that hasn’t stopped calls for it to be increased.

MUST has urged club officials to make the stadium “the largest in Europe” because fans “deserve no less” with reports the capacity at Old Trafford could be increased to 88,000.

Unlike Spurs in London, who had Wembley to move into this season, the only venue of comparable size near Old Trafford is the Etihad Stadium (61,000).

United would unlikely be able to continue to play at Old Trafford during building work, but the thought of playing our home games at the Council House has already sent shivers down my spine.

Manchester United managing director Richard Arnold told United We Stand: “We haven’t left the easiest stand until last. It’s sandwiched in a fairly narrow strip of land between the pitch and the main Manchester to Liverpool railway.

“There’s not much space on either side of the stand, meaning that it’s a very complex engineering challenge to deliver.”

He added: “It would be a multi-season challenge and it isn’t certain that there’s a way of doing it which doesn’t render us homeless.

“We have the biggest fanbase in the country and we’re not in London, where we could use Wembley.

“So that’s not a light challenge for us and we don’t want to give up the home advantage that we have here.

“Moving elsewhere would be difficult and the logistical issues associated with expanding the South Stand are not negligible.

“And that’s before you start getting into how big the expanded stadium should be.”

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