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    Manchester United MD pours cold water on Old Trafford expansion hopes

    Joe Jones

    Manchester United managing director Richard Arnold has warned that there is probably no way of expanding Old Trafford without leaving the club temporarily "homeless".

    There have long been calls for the largest league ground in England to be expanded from its current capacity of 74,994.

    Plans have been drawn up three times in the last decade with a view to redeveloping the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, which would take the capacity to over 80,000.

    But managing director Arnold has underlined issues involved in redeveloping and expanding the stand, with engineering challenges compounded by issues of finding a suitable temporary home like Tottenham Hotspur have managed with Wembley.

    "We haven't left the easiest stand until last," Arnold told United We Stand, quoted in the South China Morning Post.

    "The South Stand - the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand - is the last unexpanded stand.

    "It is sandwiched in a fairly narrow strip of land between the pitch and the main Manchester to Liverpool railway.

    "There is not much space on either side of the stand, meaning that it is a very complex engineering challenge to deliver.

    "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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