Manchester United announce 'task force' for Old Trafford regeneration with Gary Neville and Lord Coe

Gary Neville and Seb Coe have been recruited by Sir Jim Ratcliffe Credit: PA Images

Manchester United have revealed who will lead a 'task force' to regenerate Old Trafford and the land around it.

The panel will be chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe, former chair of the London 2012 organising committee.

Former United captain Gary Neville will also be involved. The former defender has built a career as a property developer since his retirement, and has an interest in the area, as owner of Hotel Football, on adjacent land to Old Trafford.

Gary Neville said that despite Old Trafford's rich history, things need to change.

He said: "While I want the best for Manchester United, I also want the same for the surrounding community. Old Trafford should be a stadium that the whole of Greater Manchester can take pride in, and be a catalyst for sustainable, cohesive growth in an area of the city that has been neglected for too long.”

Neville will join Sir Jim's panel

The club says the aim of the ‘Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force' is to bring together local leaders and national experts to examine how stadium development can support renewal the area of the city.

In a press release issued on Friday afternoon, United laid out the main responsibilities of the task force:

  • To discuss the feasibility of a new stadium of national significance equipped to host international games and finals, as well as providing a modernised home for Manchester United.

  • To support revitalisation of the area between Trafford Park and the banks of Salford Quays.

  • To support the ‘levelling up’ agenda to drive investment in the north of England

Other members will include Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and Sara Todd, Chief Executive of Trafford Council.

The Glazer family, who remain majority owners of the Premier League club, were conspicuous by their absence from the press release and list of task force members.

Old Trafford has been criticised for its old-fashioned facilities

The Red Devils will not be moving away from Old Trafford but have options to redevelop the current ground or build a new one on adjacent club-owned land.

New minority owner Ratcliffe recently said redevelopment will cost around £1billion but favoured a new £2billion stadium that would be among the best in the world.

During his first interviews, Sir Jim Ratcliffe claimed he had a case for government funding for a new stadium, with plans to create a 'Wembley of the North'.

Speaking on Friday, the INEOS Chairman said the area 'requires investment to thrive again'.

Sir Jim said: "The north-west of England has a greater concentration of major football clubs than anywhere else in the world, yet we don’t have a stadium on the scale of Wembley, the Nou Camp or Bernabéu. We will not be able to change that on our own, which is why this task force is so important to help us seize this once-in-a-century opportunity.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has wasted no time since his takeover completed as he aims to take United back to the top of English football

Lord Coe said: “Throughout my career in sport, I have seen the potential for stadiums to become focal points for strong communities and catalysts for social and economic development. That was certainly true of the venues we built in east London for the 2012 Olympics, and we are overdue a project of similar scale and ambition in the north of England. I am honoured to have this opportunity to share my experience in support of this tremendously exciting project.”

Fans and local residents are expected to be consulted on the plans, which will be made public later this year.